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How to identify a qualified, good homeopath

Written by Dr Rajesh Shah, MD (Hom)

We shall discuss in brief about how could you locate and identify a good and qualified homeopath, who could help you treat your ailment. Let us talk about the following important aspects of it.

What is homeopathy?

Homeopathy is an alternative system of medicine, originated in Germany in 1794. In the early part of the 20th century, about 30% of doctors in the US were homeopaths. However, the homeopaths have reduced in number due to many reasons.

Who is a homeopath?

'Homeopath' is one who is a qualified medical practitioner who has been trained in homeopathy through a full time, full-length course; and is legally and technically certified to practice homeopathic medicine, as per the local governing body.

Unfortunately, not many countries offer a full-length course, which should be practically identical to the mainstream medical course of M.B., B.S, and M.D. It is important that the qualified homeopath should have studied in detail the following subjects in full length.

  • Anatomy (for 18 months)           
  • Physiology (for 18 months)
  • Pathology (for 12 months)
  • Internal medicine (Minimum 12 months)
  • Surgery (Minimum 12 months)
  • Gynecology and Obstetrics (Minimum 12 months)
  • Preventive and Social Medicine (Minimum 12 months)
  • Medico-Legal Medicine (Minimum 12 months)
  • Pediatrics, Psychiatry, ENT, Dermatology, etc. (as a part of the course)
  • Homeopathic Philosophy (Minimum 3 years)
  • Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia (Materia Medica) (Minimum 3 years)
  • Homeopathic Pharmacy (Minimum 12 months)
  • Clinical Medicine ((Minimum 2 years)
  • Hospital training ((Minimum 3 years) In all different fields of medicine, surgery, Gynecology, ENT, Skin, Psychiatry, etc.)
  • Internship ((Minimum 1 year)

Through full-time study for at least five and a half years including practical training in the hospitals is required for any homeopath to have granted doctorate degree. Such intense training is available only in some countries like India.

It is very important the homeopath is able to understand the medical language, able to read and evaluate all kinds of investigations modalities (such as blood work, ECG, X-ray, CT scan, MRI, Electromyelogram, EEG, etc.) and apply in practice, to determine and decide the treatment protocol.

What qualifications should my homeopath have?

Your homeopath should have either a post-graduation or at least a graduate qualification in medicine. Medical qualification for homeopaths varies from country to country. However, it is important that every 'homeopath' has adequate training in all medical subjects as above. Most countries have courses in homeopathy minimum after 12 years with science subjects. The homeopathy course has to be a 'graduation' course in science subjects. It cannot be a short-term course with a background in commerce or arts subjects. In some countries, there are 'medical homeopaths' while in some countries there are also 'lay-homeopaths'.

In many European countries including the UK as well as the US, there are courses for lay people which may legally permit them to practice homeopathy. However, such courses are not adequate in medical training and it is highly debatable if such practitioners could be called 'homeopaths'. The problem with such homeopaths is that they fail to understand the diseases from the medical perspective.

It is imperative for all 'homeopaths' to have adequate medical training so that they could appreciate the depth of the disease.

Some of the medico-legally correct qualifications are:

U.K.: M.D., RSHom (Registered Member of the Society of Homoeopaths, which does not provide full-length medical education.)

USA.: M.D.

Canada: CCH (Certified in Classical Homeopathy), DHANP (Diplomat of the Homeopathic Academy of Naturopathic Physicians), DHMH (Diploma in Homeopathic Medicine and Health Sciences), DHt (Diploma of Homeotherapeutics)

India: M.D. (Homeopathy), B.H.M.S. (Bachelor of Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery),  L.C.E.H. (Licentiate in the Court of Examiners in Homoeopathy), D.H.M.S. (Diploma in Homoeopathic Medicine and Surgery)

Other countries: Please check with the local homeopathic school

Relevant certificates should be clearly displayed for review in the clinic or surgery.

How do I identify homeopaths' expertise?
One needs to check the following criteria with the homeopath:

  • Qualification (Medico-legal)
  • Ask for the length of training and name (website) of the institute wherefrom one has taken training
  • Experience in treating specific diseases (One can always ask: "How many cases of the certain disease have you treated, and what  is the success rate?")
  • What are the chances of recovery in his/her opinion?
  • Medical training background of the homeopath
  • If or not he/she is medically trained
  • Ask for references
  • Association with the institute or other organization and medical credentials
  • Your homeopath should be able to give you a prescription on request

How do I make my homeopath communicate with my conventional doctor, to my advantage?

As described earlier, please find out if your homeopath is trained in medical science which will allow him/her to communicate with your local doctor, if need be. If your local doctor would be able to talk to your homeopath, it will work to your advantage.

Availability of your homeopath

Please find out if your homeopath is working full time as the homeopath or he/she has other business or professional activities. In some countries, there are part-time homeopaths. Ideally, a homeopath should be working professionally as a "full time" homeopath, in order that you get proper attention.

Also, find out if your homeopath has a professional set up such as a clinic, clinical staff, pharmacist, nurse (medical assistants), etc.

Check if your homeopath has a system to keep all your records confidentially, which includes your case details, photos. etc. The homeopath should also be able to retrieve your case details in the future for at least 10 years.

Check for availability for help by personal visit, phone, email or online chat.

(Written for the benefit of lay people who may be looking for qualified homeopaths in a different part

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