Thursday, January 6, 2011

Curriculum Reforms – suggestions to re-engineer future of homeopathy

Homeopathy is gaining significant patronage across the globe as a result of rational therapeutic practices that it ensures. This trend is likely to intensify in spite of the biased negative propaganda that it is attracting from the cartels. India has established as the leader of mainstream homeopathy education in the world. In this situation, it is worth reviewing the need to effect reforms in the existing curriculum, both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Education is the vector that carries strands of influence to modulate practices. This is no different for the relationship between of health education and healthcare delivery. The ultimate objective of healthcare education is to address the health related issues of population. Therefore, anchoring education with the intent of ensuring desired healthcare is an essential element in policy planning.

Healthcare needs of the population as projected by World Health Organisation’s health report centre around infectious diseases and lifestyle dependent chronic diseases. The report states, “of more than 50 million deaths worldwide in 1997, about one-third were due to infectious and parasitic diseases such as acute lower respiratory diseases, tuberculosis, diarrhoea, HIV/AIDS and malaria; about 30% were due to circulatory diseases such as coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular diseases, and about 12% were due to cancers. … the increased life expectancy recorded in recent decades, together with changes in lifestyle stemming from socioeconomic development, have paradoxically favoured non-communicable diseases, especially circulatory disorders, cancer, and some forms of mental illness” (

The survival of homeopathy is linked to the robust and future ready education that we can offer. It is needed to have coordinated efforts to interweave emerging explosion of biomedical knowledge and new technologies on the scaffold of homeopathic principles. This would involve adapting proven experiences in skills training like integrating learning content, problem based learning strategies among other innovative initiatives.

This initiative has to be a wide network of academicians who are sensitive and open to adapt instruments of change and revival. As a foundation for this debate, I am presenting a roadmap for the future of homeopathy education. Let there be constructive debate on this, so that a final draft can emerge on the basis of consensus.

Roadmap for BHMS Curriculum Review

1. Draft the vision statement for homoeopathic healthcare in the national health policy

2. List competencies that are expected of the basic homoeopathic doctor

3. Assign competences in departments / trans departmental streams

4. State the departmental objectives of each of the departments and the inter / trans departmental objectives

5. Generate the specific instructional objectives for each of the discipline / subject and the instructional objectives for the inter / trans departmental areas

6. Categorise each of these objectives into ‘must know’ and ‘desirable to know’ areas

7. Identify the content for realising each of the listed instructional objectives

8. Suggest the appropriate Teaching / Learning methods and media

9. Indicate the feasible evaluation methods to assess the learners for the achievement or otherwise of the intended learning objectives

10. Train the teachers of the homoeopathic institutions in the principles of educational science and technology

11. Conduct the course and the examinations as per the reviewed curriculum

12. Obtain regular feedback and rectify the errors on a priority basis

13. Provide transparency for all the stakeholders like students, teachers, administrators and parents in the educational process

14. Evaluate the effectiveness of this program as an experiment against the control group of the existing curriculum

15. Rectify the gaps and improve upon the program

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