Abstract of the paper to be presented at
International Seminar on Recent Advances in Homeopathy, Kolkata
Designing Global Brand of Homeopathy Education
Key words: homeopathy education, global brand, curriculum design,
Homeopathy is accepted as credible healing system across the globe. Statistics provided by World Health Organisation place homeopathy as the most preferred among Complementary and Alternative Systems of Medicine. Currently homeopathy education is strewn into a varied mosaic of courses across the globe. This has created a chaotic and inconsistent state on a global scale. To advance homeopathy practice, it is essential that the stakeholders of homeopathy construct a globally acceptable brand of homeopathy education.
Epidemiological studies reveal that there is diversity in morbidity prevalence across the globe. Health cultures prevalent across the globe have a heterogeneous composition. Further, the geopolitical values of population dictate a medley of healthcare preferences. The constraint for uniform education brand might also stem from variations in each nation’s education system and differing thrust / focus on national healthcare policies.
However, uniformity for homeopathy education on a global scale is imperative considering the all embracing need to realise Millennium Development Goals, of which healthcare is a major component, common baseline that is evolved for heath indicators of the entire population and unvarying nature of homeopathy principles.
Therefore, a globally acceptable and applicable curriculum design is proposed. This structure can be classified into four phases: the first three phases leading to award of qualification as basic homeopathic practitioner and the fourth phase providing an opportunity to upgrade to a specialisation. The phases may be structured as follows –
Phase 1 of one year duration – clinical foundations, consisting of study of Human Biology including genetics, Homeopathy principles, Human Psychology, Logic, Medical Sociology, among others
Phase 2 of one year duration – clinical relations, consisting of study of Pathodynamics, Homeopathometrics, Homeopathic materia medica, Homeopathic methodology including repertorisation, Legal issues in medical practice, Community health orientation, Medical diagnostics, practice of NLP, etc.
Phase 3 of two year duration – clinical experiences, consisting of postings in wards, clinics, community health centre and field work, so that the integration of clinical decisions and homeopathic principles can be demonstrated in action.
At the end of phase – 3, the student qualifies as basic homeopathic practitioner. He / she will have to attend a CME of 60 hour duration once in atleast two years subsequently for the updating of knowledge and skills.
Phase 4: three year duration – specialisation, which could be either in clinical, research or academic domains. They will have to attend CME of 60 hours duration at least once every year.
- Sensitising the stakeholders of homeopathy to evolve a uniform curriculum
- Preparing a zero draft of homeopathy education document for discussion on various homeopathy forums
Understanding the human functioning is prerequisite for its therapeutic management. As we step into the futuristic healthcare management, the understanding of human functioning too has to shift from the present compartmentalised learning of anatomy, physiology and biochemistry to an interdisciplinary outlook of human biology with relevance for homeopathic ideology. As homeopathy transcends beyond scientific domain into the realms of human – social axis, the capacity of homeopathic practitioner has to be reinforced with aptitude for balanced decision making and forging positive interpersonal relationships. Thus, medically relevant applications from psychology, sociology, logic and cybernetics need to be included. It needs to have strong foundations in homeopathic ideology with a contemporary outlook. This includes a brief learning of history of homeopathic evolution, its relevance for contemporary society and the core ideological principles of homeopathy.
This phase clarifies and strengthens the media that connect basics of preclinical learning to clinical decision making. Continuing with the tradition of interdisciplinary learning, homeopathometrics introduces the understanding of pathogenesis with homeopathic background. This learning also provides a contrast of Wellbeing Vs Morbidity, so that a comparative and comprehensive view of therapeutic decision making can be made.
The study of homeopathic pharmacology is introduced with the intent of evaluating therapeutic tools. The learner is provide with an opportunity to understand legal and ethical dimensions in the diverse practice situations like ambulatory or outpatient care, hospital or in-patient care and community based care.
The learner is also introduced to principles and practice of medical history taking and homeopathic methodology including repertory use.
This phase consolidates the learning of the first two phases and enables their application in real life situations. Continuing with the tradition of interdisciplinary learning, the focus of application is the symptom / expression based build up, rather than a segment oriented approach of medicine / surgery / obstetrics / gynaecology and their sub specialities.
The differential diagnosis of the most commonly encountered clinical expressions and their evaluation, cutting across the disciplines is made and applied in the practice situations like ambulatory / hospital / community.
In their applications, the learners are provided with softskills like human values, professionalism, ethical decision making, health communication, health economics, etc,.
For phases 1 and 2, evaluation is for all the domains of learning – knowledge, skills and aptitude with the stress like K 50%, S 20% and A 30%. For phase 3, it could be K 20%, S 50% and A 30%.
The mode of assessment for 1 and 2 could be project based assessment of mastery learning in formative style. This could be monitored by the degree awarding agency. However, the assessment for phase 3 shall be jointly done by the degree awarding agency and the registering / professional monitoring body. It shall be as a balance of exit and entry evaluation – exit, for the award of qualification by the degree awarding agency and entry for getting included as legitimate practitioner, by the registering / monitoring body. The subsequent renewal of registration shall be managed by the registration / monitoring body.
Specialisation is the process that provides avenues and opportunities for the growth and development of any profession. Four areas are important for the sustenance and growth of homeopathy as a professional entity – clinical specialisation to provide specialised tertiary care n focused healthcare areas; public health to mainstream the strengths of homeopathy in preventive and promotive healthcare and also in the primary and secondary healthcare; research to converge the benefits from allied disciplines, to generate compelling evidences for the health policy makers to position homeopathy in the core areas of its competence; and academic domain to build competent human resources to carry the baton of homeopathic education.
The presentation that I have made is at conceptual level. This opens a debate for the need and feasibility of a common schedule of homeopathy training n global scale. The details of legal and logistical issues may be referred to a taskforce involving international educational planners and homeopathic stakeholders. The curriculum designing including content development and evaluation strategy may be entrusted to a team of curriculum / instruction designers who are sensitised for the nature and needs of homeopathic practice.