Questions about Homeopathy Education

HomeopathyEveryoneAugust

Dr. Bhatia raises some pertinent questions about homeopathy education.

Dear readers,

This issue of Homeopathy for Everyone is focussed on homeopathic education, books and authors.

Homeopathy EducationAs a student, I was dissatisfied with the quality of education that we received. Most of the time teachers were not trained in teaching methodologies, and learning meant ‘rote learning’. Even when the intentions of the teachers were good, there was a huge difference between what the teachers were saying in the class and what they were practicing in their clinics. This left the students untrained, bewildered and confused.

Twenty years have gone by since I started my homeopathic journey, but sadly, the standards of education have not changed much. Most students still do not read the original works of our masters and most teachers still do not practice classical homeopathy. So despite an even increasing number of homeopaths, well-trained classical homeopaths are still hard to find!

A large number of homeopaths do not even work as homeopaths. I see young homeopaths going into BPOs, hospital management, working illegally in allopathic hospitals …and even agitating openly to allow them to practice allopathic medicine! And more than 90% of those who do end up practicing homeopathy are using complexes and doing polypharmacy shamelessly.

Yet, I do not blame these homeopaths for what they are doing. You can only practice what you are being taught. If their colleges and teachers are unable to instil confidence for homeopathy in them, it is the education that needs to be blamed. And if the situation is similar in most colleges, then the policy makers and governing bodies need to introspect and reflect on their own shortcomings.

But blaming each other also won’t lead to any change on the ground. It’s time that national bodies like CCH, SOH etc, and international organizations like LIGA, start working together to produce more uniform guidelines for homeopathic education that are accepted globally, develop methodologies to train the teachers and monitor the outcome of education.

In this issue, we focus on all this and present much more. Prof. George Vithoulkas shares his insights about ways to improve homeopathic education in an interview with Manish Bhatia; Katharina Gaerter shares her thoughts about homeopathy education and practice in India after traveling through the country for four months and Rashmi Shukla raises the need for quality homeopathy education in India. There are several other articles and cases that focus on different aspects of learning and education.

Good authors and books are an integral part of good education. We present to you chapters from the books of some leading homeopaths. We are thankful to George Dimitriadis, Jeremy Sherr, Roger Morrison, Alastair Gray, Amy Lansky, Anne Vervarcke, Ajit Kulkarni, Mohd. Rafeeque, Narendra Mehta and Richard Moskowitz for sharing some wonderful chapters from their very useful books. All these chapters and works are worth reading!

Don’t miss our regular columns from Alan Schmukler, Elaine Lewis, Robert Medhurst, Iman Navab, Amarsinha Nikam, Edward De Beukelaer and Mark Moodie. And remember to send in your comments and feedbacks to all the articles that you read. Your can post your comments at the end of an article or send them to us at [email protected]

 

Dr. Manish Bhatia

Editor, Homeopathy for Everyone.

 

About the author

Dr. Manish Bhatia

Dr. Manish Bhatia

- BHMS, BCA, M.Sc Homeopathy (UK), CICH (Greece)
- Ass. Professor, Organon & Homeopathic Philosophy, SKH Medical College, Jaipur
- Founder Director of Hoacuoidep.com
- Editor, Homeopathy 4 Everyone
- Member, Advisory Board, Homeopathic Links
- Co-author - Homeopathy and Mental Health Care: Integrative Practice, Principles and Research
- Author -
- Awardee - Raja Pajwan Dev Award for Excellence in the Field of Medicine; APJ Abdul Kalam Award for Excellence in Homeopathy Education
- For consultation, seminars or clinical training, write to [email protected]

14 Comments

  • Sir,
    The teachers , fail to instill a respect and confidence about homeopathy in the minds of students and so, most of them want to practice Allopathy along with Homeopathy, which, no doubt, is illegal. As a matter of fact practicing Allopathy is much easier. Selecting the correct remedy from hundreds of remedies of similar characteristics is really a challenging job. Moreover, the patients are really impatient to wait and watch for the remedy to act. So all these are the handicaps in studying and practicing Homeopathy.
    Elsy John

  • Dear Dr. B
    Sadly……this is true you mentioned :” more than 90% of those who do end up practicing homeopathy are using complexes and doing polypharmacy shamelessly…..”..I saw this firsthand while teaching classical homeopathy in Thailand for a month.
    No one reads the Organon,no one follows the principles of prescribing……. Making their mixopathy “Secret formulas”…..telling their consumers to take these combinations daily. The end results are horrific! One ends up with very complex,confused ,suppressed messed up cases. Sadly these mixopaths do not of the outcome only to make profits$$$$$ selling their garbage combination formulas. Gives homeopathy a bad name………..

  • Dear Dr. Bhatia,
    there are two points in your editorial, which deserve general acknowledgement and acceptance:
    1. Blaming each other will not help bringing about any change in the scrappy homeopathic education and practice – which alone will be pretty hard to be avoided and to be held out in the long run. We all, who have interest in the topic , know how difficult it is to follow this initial demand. Probably here we find a starting point for all of us for returning to homeopathy which is reliable and predictable.
    Shall we begin with some kind of self-evaluation and initial answer questions like „Where am I as individual homeopath“, „How satisfied am I with my work as homeopath and with the results?“, „What sources of knowledge are there which build the basics and tools of my daily practice?“
    2. As the authorities of national and international bodies (CCH, SOH, LIGA)should be ready to answer the same questions honestly, who will remain eligible for producing more uniform guidelines for homeopathic education that will be accepted globally?
    I am afraid, there will be none.

    Who, in a high and legislative position, is honest enough to admit his own shortcomings due to this present system and curriculum of homeopathic education? Don’t we all sit in the same boat, be it the captain, the ordinary seaman or the passenger? We find ourselves in the midst of a wide ocean, always the wind blowing offshore as soon as we catch sight of land. The captain alone will not be able to steer the boat safely to the next harbour. Nor will the ordinary seamen without the navigational skills of a captain. And if the passengers will not follow the instructions given by the persons on duty, the whole boat will end up in a hystery hard to get control of.
    All of us need to get in tune! This includes, that we get awareness of us being totally out of tune. And only once we have joined at a common wavelength, then we will be able to enter the harbour soon and safely, regardless the obstacles on our way home.
    What we are in need for is a body which has no own interest in promoting itself and its own thinking. We need a body which presents nothing but a curricilum free from personification in any way. Since the most successful homeopaths in history were homeopaths who originally developed the method and taught it precisely according to its fixed and unmodified rules and laws, these rules and laws need to be brought back to awareness of every single authority and homeopath.
    We have enough original writings of the first homeopaths preserved to the present day. We have their guidelines. We have lessons written by their own experience – lessons on theory and practice. Lessons about philosophy, work and study guides giving the proper sources. We need no new gurus proclaiming a new old truth. We only need the truth itself to be given to the people. And the passengers will ask the ordinary sailor who will ask the captain who will study the lessons for a proper answer to be given to the passengers via the ordinary sailors…
    Thank you for this editorial!
    Siegfried Letzel

    • Maybe no need to mention: There are many of our boats on the Sea, but harbours can house all of them, they only need to know how to get there…

    • Dear Sigi,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Like you, I am also afraid that there is no one to whom we can turn to. And although I do desire more unity and uniformity and sticking to basics in homeopathy, but at the same time I do not expect much from the regulating bodies. Politics, power and money speak in nearly all such organizations. And now the homeopathy pharma industry is also big and influential enough to ensure that these regulating bodies continue to support complex drugs and poor education.

      Something has to change at the ground level, from bottom to top and not vice versa. Don’t know when or how that will happen but I continue to remain optimistic.

      • “Something has to change at the ground level, from bottom to top and not vice versa.”

        What elemental statement this is, circumscribing the source of the trouble and smoothing the way for the solution in just one single sentence!
        I think, down here, where I and many readers are, there are quite many homeopaths feeling exactly the same, Manish.

  • Hi Dr. Bhatia,

    I’m glad some light is being shed on the problem with education in schools of homeopathy. I’ve always seen this as a major issue for homeopaths the world over, and wished there were some things we could all do together to make education that much better and that much more universal for practitioners who truly wish to become the best they can be.

    For some reason, there is an unwillingness for classical homeopaths to work cohesively to establish themselves as what they are–to educate not only their students but the world around them about exactly what classical homeopathy means. I went to a school in Canada that was quite limited in terms of educators (there was only one classical homeopath in the faculty–the rest were all naturopaths with limited to extensive exposure to classical homeopathy, training, and practice) so I think many of us suffered from that–thankfully, many of us were able to “round out” our studies with instructors we could learn from in other countries. The internet and all it made available truly has made a difference to the kind of education homeopaths can access, especially when we can learn from and trade information with practitioners who have been working in countries where homeopathy is much more entrenched than it is here. Our school, however, left much to be desired in terms of its administration. No one in the staff had any idea of the importance of some sound practices when working with adult students–people who CHOOSE to undertake studies, spend a great deal of money and time to achieve their goals in the school, and the types of resources that have to be made available to those students not just when they are in study but also when they go out and become practitioners, in the world. People come to these schools with all kinds of life skills and knowledge that must be incorporated into the work they’re undertaking as students, and all the demands of adult life and adult learning have to be considered if schools are to be of any use. Unfortunately I still don’t see this being addressed in our school systems, and I think we ought to be building our schools with people who have skills in actually running bona fide schools with 100% adult learners. This is an important foundation we shouldn’t leave to chance as a school is doomed to fail without it.

    Until we all work together to define ourselves clearly, and then work together to define a healthy standard of education, we will always be divided and at odds with our goals as practitioners. One good way to start is to immediately come up with a term that defines exactly what we mean by homeopathy, and use that exclusively for schools who want to teach it. If you’re teaching what Hahnemann wrote about all his life, the practice of that medicine, and the means for creating life-long learning in that subject, then we should all be teaching that and calling it what it is (“Hahnemannian” or “Classical” or whatever we term is that we agree is suitable), to differentiate it from, say, what Naturopaths might be taught to think of as “homeopathy” (right now, in the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, companies like Heel and Dr. Reckeweg /Pasco are “teaching homeopathy” directly to the students there–this is just polypharmacy taught by companies with product to sell, masquerading as “homeopathy”, and many graduate without ever having heard of Hahnemann or the Organon of Medicine–yet here, in this country, their practice is supported by the government and they’ve even been allowed to define homeopathy and its practice legally! So there must be a distinction made from that, it’s crucial).

    The other thing that schools need to do is organize together to educate the public at large about our medicine, and advocate for patients’ rights to choose the health care of their choice, so that our medicine becomes accessible to all. And finally, schools have to give their homeopath graduates the training they need to become financially viable as practitioners–build economic structures up that will help graduates become established and stable so that homeopaths can prosper from what they do. This is what allopathic medical schools have really excelled in–and something we are still failing with. If graduates do not learn the ins and outs of running their practice as a small business which requires all the planning that suggests, they can’t help but fail. We have opportunities to provide this training in our schools and we should be doing that–as well as helping graduates promote and market themselves via education in the community. Certainly schools can set up things like small business incubators which will help new practitioners share the cost of marketing themselves while starting up, or help with gaining access to financing that may make or break a practice right from the start. Until we become financially stable as practitioners, doing what we have trained ourselves to do, we will not be taken seriously as practitioners; we’ll always allow others to define what we do, categorize what we do as “pseudoscience” or “quackery”, and put us down for being “uneducated or unscientific”, when we all know the opposite is true. So this is vital and it needs to be just as important to our training as establishing and maintaining high standards in practice and ongoing education. It makes us visible in the community, it presents us as “stable” in the community, so people can find us if they need to, and it establishes what we do as a legitimate choice for health care.

    We’re missing out on our opportunity to grow and become successful because our schools simply won’t work together to create an international community of peers that will endure. We’ve got to get rid of our nature to be divisive (there are homeopaths out there making tons of money putting other homeopaths down because of any number of foolish reasons–e.g., “you can’t be a good homeopath if you’re not also an MD”, “you can’t be a good homeopath if you don’t interpret Hahnemann like I do”….etc. etc. etc) and actually work together to support our efforts to grow. There will always be differences in opinion about interpretation, or “approaches” that are focused on one practitioner’s experiences (I wish I had a dime for everyone complaining about how “Sankaran is no classical homeopath”…or “how “dream” provings are simply not legitimate”, or my favourite, “people don’t do real provings anymore! It’s like a big hysteria when they all talk about their symptoms!”….when all these things are valuable contributions to our science) but we ought to be figuring out how to give students the resources to think critically about all those approaches! We’ve got a lot of work to do here. After I started my practice in homeopathy, I actually returned to university to acquire a degree in education focused on adult learners and there is so much we can do to improve the way we conceive of education in our homeopathy schools–I really wish we could use some excellent educational theory in our schools to make our practitioner community that much more empowered to learn and to educate and practice. I could go on and on, but I think I’ve said enough already, so kudos to you for bringing the subject up. I hope it opens up a great discussion that leads to some change, as we do need it.

    Regards, Dr. B–

    Nancy

    • Hi Nancy,

      Thanks for your long and excellent comment.

      A few years ago there was an effort to define homeopathic terms and reach uniform standards of practice. It took place at a secret mailing list between some of the very well known homeopathy experts, esp those known for classical homeopathy and education. But it ended without any results because there was too much disagreement. 🙁

      I do agree that homeopathy schools do not just need to teach good homeopathy but also need to teach practice management to students so they can develop financially viable practices. That alone can nudge more people to take up homeopathy as a profession.

      Despite the differences that are their in the curriculum of schools, I still feel that some standard education and books can be incorporated in all of them so that the students do learn some common basics from the same books…and then move on to follow whatever is the school’s philosophy and approach to education. But again the big question is – how do we start this process?

  • Dear Doctor,
    What said above is 1000% correct. 90% of practitioners are not practicing original system of Homeopathy. The availability of complex drugs [combination drugs] no.1 spoil sport. Secondly classic homeopathy is difficult to practice with semi urban and rural area people / patients – as every one wants an too early relief [ here not eradication or cure]. Easy available of Allopathic drugs over the counter, which makes patients use both together and makes some our homeopathic practitioners go for it – bread earning is also a concern here. Most Homeopaths not in a position to earn up to the standards by true practicing in semi urban and rural areas. Many more concerns are there.

  • nancy posted;”(right now, in the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, companies like Heel and Dr. Reckeweg /Pasco are “teaching homeopathy” directly to the students there–this is just polypharmacy taught by companies with product to sell, masquerading as “homeopathy”, and many graduate without ever having heard of Hahnemann or the Organon of Medicine–yet here, in this country, their practice is supported by the government and they’ve even been allowed to define homeopathy and its practice legally! So there must be a distinction made from that, it’s crucial)…………”This is exactly what I meant,the shortcuts taken leads to polypharmacy practicioners who NEVER read the organon,dont know how to repertorize a full casetaking,dont know about potency/dispensing protocals as in the ‘organon’…..sadly this effects the sick who need proper ‘classical’ homeopathics not a combination formula

  • NAMASTHE DR BHATIA,

    YOU ARE 100% CORRECT !

    99% OF HOMOEOPATHY DOCTORS EMERGES OUT FROM THE COLLEGES [BHMS], HAVE POOR KNOWLEDGE ABOUT HOMOEOPATHY & ABOUT PRACTICING IT. THEY HAVE LOT
    -OF CONFUSIONS AND DOUBTS, ALSO AFRAID TO ADMINISTER HIGH POTENCY MEDICINES WHEN NEEDED. ALSO THEY ARE CONTENT WITH ADMINISTERING ONLY FAMILIAR MEDICINES IN THEIR PRACTICE, HENCE THEY FAIL TO ACHIEVE REQUISITE RESULTS FAST. HENCE THEY THEMSELVES WANTS TO EMBRACE ALLOPATHY SYSTEM OF PRACTICE AND CREATES DOUBTS ABOUT HOMOEOPATHY AMONG THEIR PATIENTS SIGNALLING THAT HOMOEOPATHY IS SLOW OR CANNOT BE TREATED FOR SEVERE DISEASES.
    HUNDREDS OF PATIENTS WHO CAME TO ME HAS TOLD ME THAT THEY HAVE ALREADY TAKEN TREATMENTS FROM FEW HOMOEOPATHS, ONLY LITTLE EFFECT WE COULD EXPERIENCE, LOST HOPES ABOUT RECOVERY OF THEIR DISEASE, BUT MY FRIENDS OR RELATIVES REFERRED YOUR NAME , HENCE WE CAME TO YOU, IS IT CURABLE THEY ASK ME?

    I AM SURPRISED THAT EVEN COMMON COLD, PNEUMONIA, HIGH FEVER ETC WERE NOT CURED AND MADE THEM TO RUN FROM ONE ALLOPATHIC TO ANOTHER, ENDING WITH SUPPRESSION AND COMPLICATION. THIS WAY HOMOEOPATHY HAS GOT NAME THAT IT IS SLOW, AND HAS NO REMEDY TO COMPLICATED DISEASES ETC.

    HOMOEOPATHY EDUCATION CERTAINLY NEEDS IMMEDIATE ATTENTION, ALL STUDENTS – SHOULD BE MADE TO UNDERSTAND HOW ALLOPATHY CHEMICAL BASED TOXIC MEDICINES HAVE SEVERE & DANGEROUS SIDE EFFECTS, HOW DISEASES ARE SUPPRESSED AND WHAT COMPLICATIONS DEVELOPS AT LATER STAGE ETC.

    EVEN GREAT DOCTORS LIKE SCHWABE, REDWIG AND MANY OTHERS ADVOCATED COMBINATION OF MEDICINES AND PROVED ITS EFFECTIVENESS AND EFFICACY BY ADDRESSING THE PROBLEMS FAST , AND INFILLING CONFIDENCE AMONG THE PUBLIC THAT HOMOEOPATHY ALSO CAN TACKLE HEALTH PROBLEM FAST, EFFECTIVE, HARMLESS, CHEAP.

    LET US COME TO THE MASTER’S STYLE , HE WAS TREATING ONLY ONE OR TWO 3 PATIENTS A DAY BY DEVOTING FULL TIME ? IS IT POSSIBLE NOW? IS THERE ANYBODY DOING THE SAME? IS IT POSSIBLE NOW? THEN HOW CAN WE CALL OURSELVES AS TRUE FOLLOWERS OF HAHNEMANN’S METHOD ONLY?

    MOREOVER CAN WE NOT UNDERSTAND SITUATION ABOUT 300 YRS BACK AND NOW? CAN WE 100% FOLLOW THAT WAY?

    CHANGE IS MUST, ONE MUST CHANGE AND CHANGE IS INEVITABLE AND ONE SHOULD READ CONTINUOUSLY EXPERTS OPINIONS, BOOKS AND CONSTANTLY SHOULD GO ON ENHANCING THEIR KNOWLEDGE, PUT IT INTO PRACTICE, AND BRING NAME TO HOMOEOPATHY.
    THIS IS MY WISH AND AMBITION.

    • I would like to correct you on the account that Hahnemann just saw 2-3 patients in a day. If you read Rima Landley’s books on Hahnemann you will find out that his waiting room was always full, esp in Paris years …and there were lines of wagons in the lane going towards Hahnemann’s house. And a good classical homeopath can easily see many more patients in a day. It is a myth that to practice classical homeopathy you need to give every case 2 hrs.

      Change does not, and should not, mean blind deviations from the principles.

  • Dear Doctor Battia
    Thank you for your contribution to the solutions of the problems which you addressed in your post, and to which there have been many interesting replies.

    Despite the complexity of the problems regarding Homoeopathic Education throughout a fast-changing world which is becoming increasingly directed by money and the power that money generates, there are still many souls whose genuine interest, and I would say love of Homoeopathy, is such that this website for example provides them with what I would consider the biggest answer to the problems at hand. The key to solving the educational challenges is I believe this website itself. I say that as a new subscriber with a background which included opening and single-handedly running a school for over a decade. This was not a Homoeopathy school, but the principles of education are the same. At that time I did not have my own website and all the magic electronic teaching aids in use today, but really it is the inspiration that a Teacher imparts to a student, or in the case of Homoepathy, a patient, that really makes all the difference in this fast-changing world.

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