Category Archives: Medicine

Toilet Observations

Embarrassingly, comparative toiletry is one of my favorite topics.  See my popular post on “How well do you wipe?” which questions our poop parochialism.  Today’s post will compare some North European toilets to American toilets and perhaps further expand your scatological perspective.

To the right is a pic of the toilet and shower rooms at our Dutch host’s apartment this summer.  Most of our couchsurfing hosts had two different rooms for these functions and they also had toilet designs I had never seen. Let me first describe what I admired about these toilets:

  1. Privacy & Efficiency: Separating the toilet and shower room allows two people to have private activities simultaneously.  Whereas, American toilets are often in the same room as the bathtub/shower which is a design that sacrifices privacy for spaciousness and, for the shy, hinders the flow of traffic.
  2. Aromatically Safe Showers:  With this European design, a refreshing shower does not need to be ruined by someone’s copious emergency dump.

3. Efficiency:  My last applause for their toilets’ design was the ubiquitous, ecofriendly, dual flush system seen here to the left.  The large circle on the left is for a large poop flush and the dainty little right circle is for a tiny pee flush.  It made a lot of sense to me.  Besides being politically correct, those who wake at night to pee do not have to debate whether to leave a surprise for others in the morning or to wake them with a loud flush.  They can flush quietly and respectfully.  Mind you, I don’t suffer from nocturia (yet) but am an early riser and it works for me too.

But now we come to my criticisms:

  1. Stinky:  All our hosts’ toilets had an observatory deck design.  With this design, poop gradually gathers on the observatory deck and is exposed to the air before flushing at the end of your mission.  The result: the tiny room’s air quickly informed you about your bowel movement’s fragrance. In our American toilets, the load drops immediately into a pristine pool of water where it has minimal time to aerosolize and the odor is contained (well, at least for fast, non-hanging dumps).
    I can only imagine three possible advantages of this observation deck: (a) it may allow you to save flush water (b) it may allow some to do a thorough search of their poo for drugs they may have muled into the country or guitar picks they may have accidentally swallowed and (c) it avoids splash-back. But I can’t believe that these potential benefits are worth the smell of such a wafting aromatic set up.
  2. Messy: Finally, another important criticism of the observatory platform was the need to clean.  After flushing, if your stool is the least bit soft, a brown trail will remain and then the flusher must decide if he or she will clean the trail of shame for the next person or not.  Today I asked my son what he did in Europe and he says he never cleaned the toilet, whereas I (with a higher sense of shame) cleaned it when necessary.

After writing this post, I found this wiki article which tells us that the “Das Flachspüler” [flat-rinse] was designed in Germany and is generally known as a “washout toilet”. Among toilet designers (a unique job) is also known as a “reverse bowl design”.  This reverse design, in fact, initially had me wonder if I should straddle my host’s toilet it like a wild bronco! (kidding)

The article also concurs that the observation deck is meant for inspecting your poop and to avoid the splash-up that occurs from people pinching off several small big bombs as opposed to one, long, splashless slider (itself having a fragrance issue).  Wheew, I wasn’t being weird — the wiki article agrees with my observations.  See, I am wiki-normal.

It seems there is no perfect toilet design — or as my post here phrase this generalizable observation of the world,  “You must choose your shit pile.”

Question to readers:  After all this info, if you were a toilet designer, how would you improve your scatological life?


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Medical Skepticism

UnOrthodox Skepticism

I thought I’d share an interesting web site I just found called “What’s the Harm?” which has a subtitle saying, “368,379 people killed, 306,096 injured and over $2,815,931,000 in economic damages”.  The site has fantastic examples of the damage of many Unorthodox medical practices and superstitious beliefs and concrete examples of the harm they have caused.  Please give it a look.

Orthodox Skepticism

When I was reading the site, these facts also floated to the top of my head and I am sure they are in the heads of many of those who embrace Unorthodox medicines:

  • 1999 report: “To Err Is Human” by the Institute of Medicine found that preventable medical errors caused 44,000 to 98,000 preventable deaths each year, with an associated cost of $17 to $29 billion dollar.
  • Drugs, with all their concomitant side-effects, are thown at disease when exercise and proper eating could alleviate a huge percent of ailments.
Orthodox medicine relieves much suffering and much of Unorthodox medicine causes no harm.  Further than that, in this post, I won’t try to discuss, weigh or resolve these facts. I think holding them simultaneously is important.  Instead, I will let commentors tell us how they think of these issues.


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Why do you reject Homeopathy?

Sometimes it is OK just to reject something without seeking any deep understanding.  We run into these situations all the time.  Life is too short to spend time examining every suggestion that comes in front of us.

On the other hand, relying on our intuitions to find truth has been shown often to be grossly erroneous.  Ouch, what are we to do?

Homeopathy is practiced by thousands of practitioners and has millions of patients.  Skeptics usually dismiss Homeopathy for very simple reasons (listed by most common to least common):

  • Tribal Doubt:  None of the people you respect think homeopathy is valid.  You trust those in your circle.  Other skeptics think homeopathy is hogwash and so do you.   Besides, you have seen the sort of folks that flock to homeopathy — they flock to a bunch of equally ridiculous notions and aren’t to be trusted.
  • Mechanism Doubt: You can’t imagine how any medicine could work which is diluted beyond hope of having even one molecule of active ingredient.  You haven’t read any of the explanations given by homeopaths to support this crazy notion but you know whatever reason they give has to be ridiculous.
  • Smattering of Science:  You’ve heard of a few studies from what you consider highly reliable sources that claim no evidence for the effectiveness of homeopathy and you have no reason to doubt them.
But a few skeptics have taken time to understand the issue:
  • Lots of Science: This is hard.  You would have to be up on the pros and cons of lots of studies.  You may even have read extensively on the subject including sympathetic material and journal articles that claim to show homeopathic effectiveness.  You have thought through all the counter evidence and feel homeopathy is hogwash.

Most probably a given skeptic will have a combinations of these reasons.

Though I think it is fine to reject Homeopathy out of hand and move on.  In these posts, I will endulge the luxury to understand more deeply than simple rejection.  I hope to help interested readers to understand why people practice homeopathy and why millions of patients swear to its effectiveness.  So I am talking to those who are willing to consider not dismissing homeopathy out-of-hand, and instead make an effort to understand why others value it so strongly.   Hopefully I will take you beyond thinking that believers in Homeopathy are just unadulterated idiots — even if you still disagree with them.

Questions to readers:  What level is your sophistication in rejecting homeopathy (if you do)?  What level do you think most skeptics have?  [It should be obvious to readers, that a similar examination of levels-of-rejection approach could also be done for religions, politics, other types of medicine and more.]

See the rest of this series.


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Meditation, Urination and Inhibition

Some people complain that when they drink alcohol, they have to urinate several times in a short period. They think the alcohol “goes right through them.”

Actually, what really happens is that their alcohol turns off the inhibition in their brain.  Sure, you all know this, but do you know how inhibition really serves you?  The beer turns of the inhibition of the imbiber’s  speech, sexual choices and driving habits. And it also turns off their brain’s inhibition to pee.  Even with the smallest amount of urine in their bladder, their brain says, “Go Pee!”.  The brain is trying to say, “You have urine in your bladder, but you can wait.”  But since the inhibition center is turned off, that part of the brain is gagged.

The inhibition part of the brain works both on our behavior and our bodies.    I did another post on this issue called “Peeing away your cash” (which few people read, sniffle!).  But thinking further about inhibition, I wonder if it is better to meditate with a full bladder.  A full bladder activates your inhibition center which may help you to suppress the compulsive monkey mind.  Anyone with experience on this topic?  I doubt it.  Alas, my isolation is horrible.  🙂


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Acupuncture Success

For those following my Acupuncture history and impressions, I thought these quick stories would also help.  For in many of my acupuncture experiences I didn’t usually follow the long-term results of my treatments but with family and friends, it was easier.  So here are a few stories — again, without post-hoc analysis.

Allergies & Sleep

My brother had allergies — runny nose and sneezing.  I was home in the USA on a short vacation from Japan and he asked if acupuncture would help his allergies.  We were in the back seat of a car,  I broke out my needles and  put about four needles in his face while we were riding.  He clearly felt the Qi and after twirling them a bit, I told him to rest with them in his face for about 10 to 15 minutes.

When I removed the needles his nose wasn’t running and his face tingled.  The next day he called me and asked in an almost angry voice,  “What did you do? That day I went home and fell asleep at 4:30 pm and did not wake until 8 a.m. the next day!  I normally sleep only about five or six hours.  You should have warned me.”

I had never seen that happen before so didn’t think about warning him.  He said he did feel better still. His allergies, by the way, were never cured by one treatment — more treatments are needed.  But I was just visiting and would not see him again for several years.

Tennis Elbow

My mother’s best friend (50 years old) had tennis elbow for 2 years that interfered tremendously with here daily life.  She asked me if I would mind treating it.  The friend had surgery planned in two weeks.  I gave one treatment with three needles in her arm and the pain was gone and never returned.  She cancelled her surgery.

Thumb Pain

My friend’s sister had thumb pain for five weeks.  After feeling the tension on her muscles, I decided to only use one point at the middle of her scapula–  Small Intestine 11 (“Heavenly Gathering”).  With a four minute treatment on that one point her pain went away and never returned.  This is an example of treating a point far from the source of pain.  Some traditions emphasize this method, some emphasize points close to the pain — many use both.  For example, a point which is claimed to help menstrual cramps in just above the ankle (“the meeting of the three Yin”).

Back Pain

My father visited me in Japan after I graduated from Acupuncture school.  He brought his second wife and he requested if I would offer to treat her chronic back pain.  So during their two-week stay I gave her four treatments both with acupuncture and moxibustion.  Her pain was relieved and did not return until about 1-year later.

Again, this is how I remember these stories.

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My Magical Introduction to Acupuncture

The following is the continuation of my autobiographical posts concerning my experiences in acupuncture. See Part One here.

So, was my introduction to Acupuncture “magical”? I will let the reader decide.


I was excited to visit Dave McClean, the eccentric guy I had met at IBM who offered to show me some acupuncture.  My girlfriend, Amy, came with me for the evening tea visit.  We were both relatively new to Japan and were looking forward to seeing how another foreigner had eked out an existence in the land of Wa.  Amy was a bit hesitant about the get-together; first because she was not excited about meeting a strange, itinerant elderly bachelor and second because she was still a Christian who was a bit suspicious about non-orthodox medicine.  But she had been raised as a missionary kid in India and was certainly no stranger to odd experiences.  So she had decided to observe but warned me that she would not participate.

Dave lived in a traditional Japanese house: tatami floors, sliding wooden doors, a tokonoma and a cute inner court yard. He had done well for himself for only a year in Japan and he shared some of his Japan-survival tricks with us during the first hour of our visit: how to look for houses, how to find cheap furniture, job opportunities and more.

Later we discussed the beautiful art work he had collected and his meditation spot in his tokonoma. We compared our meditation experiences and thoughts on religion. By then,  I had transitioned out of Christianity, explored Buddhism and Hinduism/Yoga and was now pretty much a very disillusioned cynical materialist. Nonetheless, I was still oddly drawn to people who claimed to have experienced the unusual. Tonight’s acupuncture introduction was, in my mind, an anthropological adventure.  But I was also sincere – my pursuit was a complex mix of motivations – but in the end, curiosity and gregariousness were the main motivators.

Dave was intense about everything he pursued and his knowledge was deep and sophisticated – it was a joy listening to him. After an hour of tea our conversation finally landed on the reason for our visit: acupuncture.

Dave said, “Well, are you ready to try the needles?”

I was a little nervous but not hesitant. “Sure!” I said and Dave brought out a beautiful metal case with the needles neatly aligned and explained how he sterilized them (a concern of mine). Then he said, “Rather than talk about this, why don’t I get you to experience it first?” I agreed–for I had always valued experience more than pure theory.

He asked me to assume a comfortable posture so he could place a needle gently into my right hand.  Since we were sitting on the tatami, I asked if I could borrow his meditation pillow. I assumed the half-lotus position with my hands on my thighs and closed my eyes briefly to relax in the manner I would in my meditations. (The pic is not me, I borrow it — forgot the source, sorry.)

When I opened my eyes Dave said, “Ah, that is a good idea. Why don’t you keep your eyes closed while I put the needle in.”

“But,” I inquired “before I close my eyes, may I ask what is the needle suppose to do when put in my hand?”

“Hmmm,” he said, “I don’t want to bias your impressions.  Instead, let’s just see. But I can tell you that the Chinese name for the point is ‘hegu’ (“the meeting valley”), Japanese call it gōkoku but English speakers, avoiding the complexity of the classical names, simply call the point “Large Intestine 4″ because it is the 4th on the large intestine meridian (more on that later).

Well, that explanation did not help, so though a little nervous about closing my eyes, I agreed. Dave then gently massaged the point.  “Here we go.” he said softly, “You will only feel a little pinch.” And indeed, he slipped the needle in with no pain.

I was surprised.”Did you feel anything?” Dave asked.

“No, not really.” I responded showing my surprise.

Since my deconversion from Christianity and my experiences in India, I had become not only skeptical of any religion, but of any unusual experiences altogether.  So I came to learn about Dave’s acupuncture with a skeptic’s mind.  But Dave’s introduction was sane, rational, gentle and not unusual — well, up to this point.

“Well,” he said, “let’s move your Qi a little.”

Saying that, he slowly started twisting the needle and moving it down a little deeper (I was told this later — remember, my eyes were closed). Suddenly I had a strong sensation run from that acupuncture point on my hand, up my arm across my neck and down to the same spot on the other arm.

The buzzing river around my arms also caused me to drop into a deep quiet relaxed state.  Entering that level of relaxation usually took me about 40 minutes of meditation but Dave’s needle just did it to me in a few seconds — I was surprised again.

After about a minute (which felt like ten minutes), Dave said, “What do you feel?”

I describe the arc of sensation. But as we spoke, the buzzing feeling faded and I could only slightly feel the needle in its original position.  Dave was a little surprised.  He told me to open my eyes, and we talked for a second (with the needle still in my hand).

“It seems you are ‘channel-sensitive’ — Only about 5% of the population can actually feel Qi move along the actual channels,” Dave explained, “And an even smaller percent of people can feel the whole channel across to the other side.”

The next two pics illustrates the “Small Intestine channel” on which the acupuncture point layed. The feeling went up that channel to the back of my neck and jumped over to the same channel on the other side and down to my other hand.

“If you don’t mind,” Dave continued, “I’d like to try a little experiment with you?”

Amy was sitting nearby and she looked pretty interested even though I could tell that the situation was making her a bit cautious. But she appeared to be patiently watching, so I agreed, “Sure, what is next?”

“Well,” Dave described, “I’d like you close your eyes again and tell me what you feel.”

I agree and again closed my eyes again and relaxed.

“Ok, I don’t feel anything.”  A little time passed, “Still nothing” I said impatiently.

“OH! You must be twirling the needle. There goes that sensation again — up my arm to my other hand. Now it is fading. Ooops, there it is again.”

This pattern of an on-and-off sensation repeated itself about four times. And finally Dave told me to open my eyes.

Amy had her mouth open in surprise. I asked Dave what he had done but instead Amy blurted out in surprise, “All he did was hold his hand about 6 inches over the needle. And every time he did, you felt the sensation going up and down your arms. And everytime he moved his hand away from the needle, you said it faded.”

“I am impressed too,” Dave said, “Not many people have that degree of sensitivity.”

“Hmmm”, I thought out loud in my surprise.

I did not believe that energy could flow outside the body, yet alone from one body to another. But even this experience I was still extremely skeptical and objected saying, “It was probably just the heat of his hand triggering the same sensation.”

“OK,” Dave replied, “I have another experiment that may test your objection.  Would you like to try?”

I agreed and we set up experiment the same way with my eyes closed and the needle in.

Just like the previous experiment, I reported my sensations.  Over the next five minutes the buzzing sensation went up and down my arms.  It came and went in an irregular pattern.

Finally Dave told me to open my eyes again.  But this time, Dave was not sitting next to me.  Instead, both Amy and Dave were sitting across the room.

“This time,” Amy informed me,”you felt the sensation every time Dave pointed his fingers at the needle from over here. And when he pointed away, you reported the sensation dimmed each time.  Each time!

OK, I was pretty shocked. And I had skeptical, religious, anti-acupuncture Amy as a witness adding to the credibility.

To top off the night, Dave wanted to show us one more related phenomena. He felt I probably had the ability to feel the energy surrounding a person’s body. So to set up the experiment. He asked a-now-willing Amy lay prone on the tatami floor and relax. He then asked me to hold my hand above Amy’s body.

Dave then asked me if I could feel a sensation in my palm that was similar to the needle’s buzzing sensation. I did. In fact it was clearly present for the first foot or so off her body but then quickly faded at about two feet above her.  The fading felt like the fading of the buzz of the needle, albeit it more subtle.

I thought it was her body heat but she had clothes on and when I put my hand near the bare skin on her arms I could feel a little heat but I had to be very close to her body. The sensation of heat and the subtle buzz where very different.

Eventually it was time for us to leave Dave’s gracious company.  It had been a unique evening. We thanked Dave for everything and started off on our slow walk along the gorgeous, moon-lit Kamo River back to our small home.

On the way home, Amy noticed my silence and said, “You are being unusually quiet. What are you thinking about?”

“Well, it is like I saw God!”

I said that for shock value knowing that though Amy had practically given up on my ever becoming a Christian again, though she still hoped I’d return to the flock.  Her and I had long standing tensions since I had left Christianity about 4 years earlier.

“I mean, look,” I continued, “tonight I saw something that I had not thought was possible.  I could have sworn such a possibility did not exist. It was as if I saw a god. Because up to now, whenever I heard people talking about energy in and around the body, I thought they were talking hocus-pocus woo-woo.  But tonight I experienced that energy even when I was trying not to.  And you verified it. That sort of experience is enough to even shut me up.”

Amy nodded.

Well, I have tried to tell this story as I experienced it at that time without any post-hoc analysis.  Go ahead, let me know your questions and your speculations.  My acupuncture stories after this event abound, but this was the pivotal experience that made me pursue acupuncture.


My other related posts:


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Why I left Homeopathy

I saw lots of patients get better with homeopathy. Rashes disappeared, aches and pains resolved, phobias improved and energy levels went up. I even treated an infertile couple and within 6 months, they conceived their first child which they named after me!

But many patients would just not return after 3 or 4 treatments and I would never know if they improved or not.  And as I reflected on the cures, I saw that they were mostly on those with normally self-limited maladies or with vague symptoms.  From the beginning I was skeptic but my skepticism grew.

After practicing Homeopathy for two years, I decided to test my skepticism. I went through some 200 charts of patients I had managed by myself and did a tally of those with significant improvement, non-impressive improvement and no improvement. I also kept track of the severity of the condition and if I felt it was self-limited or had a large psychological component.

Many of you will be unsurprised to hear that about 30% of my patients showed significant improvement. This is the rate we expect with placebo — and I was not treating patients with serious illnesses like cancer, insulin dependent diabetes, congestive heart failure, parkinson disease or the like.

I used that chart review information to give myself the courage to quit the clinic. “Why courage?”, you may ask: I had invested a lot of myself in homeopathy–a certification program, lots of books, intense study, 2-years of clinical practice,  colleague study groups, debates with lots of folks. But mostly, I liked my mentor a great deal and respected him. He had invested a lot of time to train me and encourage me.  So it was hard to disappoint him. But he was gracious and I left Homeopathy and never returned.

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Confessions of an Acupuncturist

Pulse DiagnosisI am a former practitioner of Oriental Medicine.  In Japan I ran my own clinic where I both prescribed herbal medicine and did acupuncture and moxa.   This is an index post of my experiences and thoughts about Oriental Medicine (AKA: Traditional Chinese Medicine).

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Alternative Medicine is of the Devil

Alternative medicine is detested by many practitioners of Orthodox medicine.  This has changed somewhat over the last 20 years. But here are two of my personal stories related to that distain.

Alternative Medicine is of the Devil

My first job after PA school was in an Emergency Department in Seattle, Washington. No more than one month into the job I was called in the ER director’s office and told I was fired because two of the 10 ER docs did not like me.  Since I was still in my probation period, they could fire me for the way I combed my hair if they liked, so I had no recourse. So I asked “why?” and the director looked at me with embarrassment saying that those two complaining docs felt that my Oriental Medical training was interfering with my job.   I was also frankly told that the two doubting docs where born-again Christians who felt that Acupuncture and alternative medicines were deceptions of the devil and they did not want it in their workplace.  I was shocked again at the stupidity of the religion of which I was once a member — “Ah, yes, I thought.  I forgot that mentality.”

I was on incredibly good terms with all the other docs, that is why the director was embarrassment in confessing this superstitious grounds for dismissal.  Nonetheless, the company worked on consensus and since two docs could not agree on keeping me, I had to go.  One of the complaining Christian doctors was the night doc — a treasured commodity for any ER group because no one wants to work nights and so the night doc must always be kept happy no matter what baggage he/she comes with.  So they were firing me to keep his royal ass happy.

Long story short: I confronted the two docs on this issue.  After long conversations they finally agreed they had indeed never seen me practice alternative medicine or talk to ER patients about an alternative medicine.  They had only suspected I must because of my background. I reassured them that I too had great skepticism of the overreach of much of alternative medicine and they decided to let me stay.

Interestingly four years later, I had helped care for the health of both those doctor’s family members using alternative medicine.

Soft-Minded Alternative Medicine

Six years after PA school I was employed by a big HMO is Albany, New York.   I carried my own load of patients in their Internal Medicine Department.  Two months into the job, I was called before a group of doctors for possible firing because I was using alternative medicine. One doc institituted the investigation because I was telling patients about using alternating hot and cold soakings for sprained ankles.  It was just an excuse, of course, for like the docs in the first story, he just hated alternative medicine so much that he couldn’t stand to think that their clinic had a former acupuncturist working for them.

But he was right, my treatments were “alternative”.  (And, shhhh, this is a method we used in our Oriental Medical Clinics).  And the standard of practice in orthodox medicine at that time was cold soaking for 2 days and then warm soaks thereafter.    So I came to the meeting with about ten high-quality recent studies showing that alternating was better. I handed copies to all four docs on the panel and I said, “I agree, I am doing alternative medicine, but only if by “alternative” you mean it is an alternate to the slow-changing, orthodoxy that is behind in current medical research.” Three of the docs smiled (they did not like the other doc much) and the accusatory doc said he understood but said he did not want to hear any more talk of soft-minded alternative systems in his clinic.  So they did not fire me and kept quiet.  Another lesson learned about the power of orthodoxy and objectivity.

You see, I did not talk about alternative medicine in the ER or the Internal Medicine clinic. But some people are so angry at alternative medicines that they just can’t think clearly or listen carefully when the topic comes up.  And these people consider themselves the epitome of scientific objective reasoning — yeah, right!   Much has changed in the last 20 years, but that was what it was like when I returned to the U.S.A. from Asia.  I still run into this distain occasionally but now that I am older with grey hair, have longer pedigree and a different air than in my youth, I can often escape the radar of the medical orthodoxy cops.

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My Homeopathy Credentials

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


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