To supplement my Homeopathy posts, I am giving this story of my Homeopathy background.
During my seven years in Japan I became a nationally licensed acupuncturist and herbalist. I ran my own clinic in Kyoto while simultaneously apprenticing in several other clinics. During this time I realized I wanted to study Western medicine to supplement my Oriental medicine. So I moved back the USA and entered Duke University’s Physician Assistant (PA) program. My ambition was to eventually find a group of Physicians to work with and combine the strengths of both “Eastern” and “Western” medicine.
While at Duke, I met an acupuncturist whose husband was a Zen priest. We became friends and I would go to their house occasionally. This acupuncturist also used homeopathy in her practice. Up until then, I had not heard much about Homeopathy and here was a person I respected using it. Being a very curious and exploratory person I slowly studied Homeopathy on my own even while studying in the PA program. I would read several books and visit a Homeopathic clinic in the area.
I had planned to move to Seattle, Washington after PA school, so I arranged to have my last two medical rotations in the Seattle area: one at an Emergency Department and the other at a Homeopathic clinic run by two MDs. I could not believe Duke allowed me to go on that rotation.
Both the Homeopathy clinic and the ER rotations offered me jobs in Seattle after I graduated and I took both jobs at 30 hours each — I was very happy, I was able to pursue two different paths simultaneously.
The Homeopathy clinic was a two-doc private family practice clinic– husband and wife MDs. Only homeopathic medicines were used in their clinic — absolutely no Western medicines or herbs. They were homeopathic purists. No insurances were accepted, and all payments were cash. Their clinic prospered!
I was hired under the condition that I would be an apprentice for the first 3 months (not seeing my own patients) and I would have to finish a 180-hour up-coming Homeopathy Credentialing Program (one of three in the country at that time.)
The Certification program met on weekends for 3 months and was great fun. Lots of bright energetic students — mostly Naturopaths and a few physicians. We had several lecturers and lots of study. I was fortunate that during the week days I was also seeing patients so the knowledge stuck more easily.
After those first 3-4 months I was able to see patients on my own but each of my interviews with new patients had to be video recorded and reviewed by the two physicians over lunch so as to criticize my interviewing techniques and to help in the choosing of a remedy (the Homeopathy term for “medications”) for the patient. The training was intense. The initial interviews with new patients typically lasted 1 1/2 hours. Homeopaths in our school of homeopathy really got to know their patients! I learned more about interviewing patients from my Homeopathy training than I ever have learned or seen in my Allopathic training.
After a year of that training, I now started seeing patients on my own without filming and review. I now joining a group of local Naturopaths who met every month to discuss cases and do further study in Homeopathy — it was a great study group. Two years after working at that clinic, I quit. But that is another post.
See my Index Post: Confessions of a Homeopath