June 17, 2014
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
Homeopathy is a complementary or alternative medicine that is based on the idea that ‘like cures like’. The underlying principle of homeopathy is that substances that cause symptoms can, when used in very small quantities, also be used to cure those same symptoms or at least reduce their severity.
Homeopaths treat patients by triggering the body’s own healing powers using natural remedies.
Before you can work as a homeopath, you will have to do a three-year course at a homeopathic college and register with one of the recognised professional organisations for complementary therapists.
As a homeopath, you can expect to treat patients experiencing problems ranging from headaches, stress and fevers to warts, eczema and arthritis. Patients may come to you directly for consultation or they may be referred to you by their GP. Your recommended treatment for any patient will be based on their physical symptoms as well as their lifestyle and emotional issues.
Homeopaths generally do not discuss a patient’s symptoms in isolation. Homeopathy goes to the root of the problem and takes into consideration the symptoms along with the patient’s lifestyle and wider health issues. Two different patients who come in with the same symptoms may require two totally different homeopathy treatments. During any consultation session, you will have to take detailed notes of your patient’s history and lifestyle for future reference.
To prepare for work as a homeopath, you can choose to obtain a BSc Hons degree or a diploma from a private college of homeopathy. Whichever you choose, it is advisable to obtain a qualification that is recognised by one of the professional organisations for homeopathy, such as the Society of Homeopaths (SOH).
The duration of full-time courses is three years whereas part-time courses can stretch on for four years. Whether you choose to study full or part time, all recognised programmes will include a component of supervised practice.
To be accepted into a degree course you will usually need to have obtained at least three GCSEs (A-C) and two A-levels, which includes a science subject. Some programmes accept students who have obtained an Access to Higher Education qualification.
Most private colleges offering licentiate courses do not have any academic qualification requirement, although knowledge of science serves as a good background. Instead, these colleges will look at your life experience, interest in homeopathy, and your potential to succeed on the course.
Before submitting your application, it is advisable to research the different universities and colleges carefully and check entry requirements for each of their courses.
Once you have completed your homeopathy course, you should join a professional organisation for homeopathy such as Society of Homeopaths (SOH), Homeopathic Medical Association (HMA), Alliance of Registered Homeopaths (ARH) or Faculty of Homeopathy. Each register has its own eligibility criteria for joining, but in general you will need to build up a number of hours’ clinical practice, and submit case studies or pass an interview.
Keeping your skills and knowledge up to date throughout your career is important. You can do this by attending conferences and short courses. Being a member of a professional body will often give you access to events and professional development programmes.