20 Programmes for standardizing homoeopathic education

Dr Ravi M  Nair
Ex-Advisor (Homoeopathy) to Govt. of India
Aramam,Trivandrum .Kerala Ph: o4712344344

Homoeopathy is now facing major challenges like other systems of Medicine in a scenario where health concerns are becoming more and more complex and problematic. There is no denying the fact that standardization of Medical Education, Practice and Research has become more essential than ever before to grapple with the problems, which the medical community is now confronts.

Though it is now more than one and half centuries since Homoeopathy was introduced in India it was only from 1973, when the Homoeopathy Central Council Act was promulgated and the formation of the Central Council of Homoeopathy in the very next year that Homoeopathy really got a head start in our country. Steps towards standardization of education began only after 1983, when Homoeopathic Education Regulations came into force. It is a sad fact that after 20 long years, the only achievement, which we can point out in this area, is the stoppage of Diploma course and the starting of unified Degree Course and P.G. courses. It is unfortunate that not even one of the 183 Homoeopathic Colleges in India today has fulfilled the requirements stipulated in the Minimum Standards of Education Regulations. It may be said that, about 1/5th of these colleges have provided some facility or the other.

More than half of these colleges are still in a pitiable condition. They have neither the infrastructural facilities nor the required staff. Even in those institutions where some infrastructural facilities are available, the arrangements for clinical training are most insufficient. Even in the older institutions neither the IPDs are functioning nor the OPDs are attended by adequate number of patients. Since clinical training is the most important element in medical education its absence from Homoeopathic colleges is a serious lacuna in our educational system. Likewise, the scarcity of learned and competent teachers in these colleges is another major shortcoming, which we are facing. The profession is not able to attract talented and dedicated teachers because of the prevailing meager salary and poor service conditions.

There are innumerable such defects and deficiencies in our educational system. The few suggestions, which are worthwhile to pay heed to are those projecting the major reforms required to be undertaken, from an overhaul of the structure of the Central Council of Homoeopathy and selection of the students down to their Internship training.

1.Representation of the academicians in the Central Council of Homoeopathy is getting dwindled as more and more State level Medical Universities are coming into being in different states. It is therefore imperative- that the representations of academicians in the Central Council of Homoeopathy have to be maximized. To achieve this end the choice of Central Government nominations need to be made to suit the above requirement.

2.It is pertinent here to point out that any attempt to defile the principles and defame the honour of the Hahnemannian theories meted out by any personality or personalities however big he or they may be with the intention of furthering self- interest at the altar of Homoeopathy has to be boldly opposed and rendered futile then and there, with an iron hand. It is a crisis of ‘Do or Die’ for every true Homoeopath. The very existence of Homoeopathy is dependent on this aspect. Of late, it is very disheartening and  isappointing to point out an unhealthy tendency ruling the roost deliberately promoting patent products contrary to the basic tenets of Homoeopathy. As it is fraught with many serious problems particularly relating the students, each and every true Homoeopath should rise to the occasion and leave no stone unturned to oppose the trend and tactics of producing and procuring such patent medicines for sale anywhere more so especially in any Homoeopathic Colleges and Hospitals, even by promulgating prohibitory orders.

3.The questions in the entrance tests for BHMS admission should include points to assess the aptitude of the candidates taking the test. The tendency of students to discontinue the studies midway between the courses should also be discouraged. Necessary aptitude test towards the study of Homoeopathy should also be assessed along with the Entrance
Examination for admission to BHMS course.

4.The syllabus and curricula need to be revised forthwith. The duration of Pre-clinical studies has to be reduced from 18 months to 12 months. In lieu of the above reduction, the duration of the fourth BHMS course has to be increased from 12 months to 18 months. -In quite conformity with the revised schedule the following suggestions of study covering the entire
academic programme is worth attention.

First BHMS – Pre-Clinical Phase  12 months:
i. Anatomy including Embryology and Histology
ii. Physiology & Biochemistry including Vitamins.
iii. Pharmacy & Pharmacology (100 Polychrests)
iv. Basic Elements on: Psychology, Philosophy, Logic and Ecology, Holistic Concept of Man
in Health & disease, History of Medicine, Origin & Developments of Homoeopathy with its Pioneers.

Second BHMS – Para Clinical Phase I • 12 months:
i. Organon of Medicine
ii. Materia Medica Pura (Fundamental Part of 100 Polychrests)
iii. Pathology including special Pathology, Microbiology & Parasitology
iv. Forensic Medicine & Toxicology including Medical Acts & Regulations.

Third BHMS – Para Clinical Phase II • 12 months:
i. Homoeopathic Philosophy & Chronic Diseases
ii. Comparative Materia Medica
iii. Case taking & Repertorisation
v. Community Medicine & basic concepts of other schools of Medicine
vi. Physical Medicine (Clinical methods & investigations)

Fourth BHMS • Clinical Phase I – 18 months:
i. Internal Medicine
ii Surgery including ENT, Ophthalmology & Dentistry.
iii. Obstetrics, Gynaecology & Neonatology

Final BHMS Clinical Phase II  Internship  12 months:
i. Practice of Homoeopathy in Medicine
ii. Practice of Homoeopathy in Surgery
iii. Practice of Homoeopathy in Obstetrics & Gynaecology.
5. Teaching plan and programme should be prepared in advance and monitored effectively.

6.Instead of following the lecture mode, the interactive approach of discussions, seminars, tutorials and symposia as well as regular clinical demonstrations have to be instituted.

7.Audiovisual equipments and modern teaching aids including computer facilities should be provided. Such modern techniques should be incorporated into the training, re-training, orientation, CME programme and evaluation of the teaching faculties.

8.Regular and systematic training should be conducted from time to time to keep abreast the teaching skills of the faculty. Attendance in these training programmes should be made compulsory and should become a condition precedent for their promotion in service.

9.P.G. courses for all subjects should be introduced for expanding the knowledge base of the teachers. There should also be facilities for teachers with aptitude to take to research.

10.Steps should be taken to improve the salary and service conditions of teachers keeping in-view the rising cost of living in the country and with due regard to their professional status and responsibilities.

11.Computer training should be given to those students who do not posses these skills. And they should also be trained to develop their skills in communication, interrogation, observation, perceiving and recording of cases.

12.The examination system has to be totally revamped. It is essential that the examinations should be held and results announced on schedule. The universities should publish examination calendar immediately after the admission of a batch of students.

13.More emphasis should be placed on Internal Assessment. 50% of marks in University Exam should be set apart for Internal Assessment and it should be done systematically. Those who do not obtain at least 40% of marks in Internal Assessment and 80% of attendance in each subject should not be permitted to appear in the University examinations.

14.Only failed students, who have obtained more than 40% of marks in the University Exam shall be given the facility of Supplementary Exam within a month after publication of the result of the Main Exam so that they do not lose a year.

15.Those who have failed in the University Exam and those who have not qualified for the University Exam for want of stipulated 80% attendance and 40% Internal Assessment may be permitted to appear in the next University Exam only after under-going a full term course successfully with their juniors.

16.It is noticed that at present the students are not effectively utilizing the Internship Training to correct this situation, case oriented study of the clinical subjects viz. Medicine, Surge and O&G shall be insisted upon and completion of assignments made compulsory. The examination procedure is to be modified to conduct the Part I Exams on the above subject at   the end of the fourth BHMS course and Part II Exam covering the same subjects through  he case oriented approach at the close of Internship Course. The Degree Certificate should be issued only if the students clear both these examinations successfully. Suitable modification in exam, scheme and internship training would not only ensure inter involvement and application on the part of students but also increase their competence clinical practice.

17.With a view to popularizing Homoeopathy as well as attracting more patients in the Op and IPD of the Collegiate Hospitals, the Dept. of Community Medicine of the Colleges she organize medical camps, preventive camps, health surveys, school health program awareness campaigns in their catchments area to educate the people about the scope
potentials of Homoeopathy as the most modern system of medicine.

18.The Govt. of India had amended the Homoeopathy Central Council Act 1973 in Dece 2002 with the prime purpose of standardizing Homoeopathic education, which is indeed welcome step. According to this amendment, besides the sanction and approval of the  University, State Government, CCH, the Central Govt. should also accord its sanction for starting a new college, new courses and enhancing the existing admission strength to each course. In order to achieve the desired result, the Govt. of India should make Regulations to ensure scrupulous and faithful adherence to the various norms governing the issue. With this Regulation it is hoped that no room for any lapse or breach of Regulations occurs in the matter as has been observed prior to the amendment of the Act.

19.Since the provocation for the latest amendment to the Act is the realization of the flaw-ful conditions in the existing colleges, violating the CCH norms, the authorities concerned should rise to the occasion to take immediate remedial action to see that the unsatisfactory state of conditions prevailing in these colleges should be got rid of by constituting an Inspection Commission consisting of expert academicians. It is the mission of the Commission to point out all the defects and deficiencies and to offer ways and means to bring in the rectification process step by step based on a time bound programme. The College or Colleges, which do not attain or achieve the desired aim within the above-stipulated period, should be ordered to be wound up forthwith.

20.It is high time that a National Commission in the analogy of the UGC should have been formed to look into the development and flourishing of all Medical Institutions in the country achieving the latter’s blooming into full fledged state in the field of Medical Education. The necessity for constituting such a Medical Grants Commission, though not a news, has already been felt and echoed in clear terms on several occasions by our Ministers in the past. But the sorry affair is that despite these vociferous announcements, it has not come into even the embryonic stage. It is here therefore more urgent to point out the imperative necessity of such a Commission finally once again to get it constituted embracing all the recognized medical systems in the country including Homoeopathy.

To conclude, it is fervently hoped that the delineated points in the foregoing parts of this article will definitely evince earnest enthusiasm in the minds of all concerned viz. the Central and State Governments, the CCH, Universities, Colleges, Teaching faculties and the students community to delve deep into the issue with a sincere and altruistic effort to materialize the ever felt highly needed culmination of the standardization of Homoeopathic Education in the country. It is only a matter of pooling together all the enthusiastic spirits to converge into one pivotal point that is Homoeopathy. Such a culmination alone can standardize Homoeopathic Practice and Research in the country.

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1 Comment

  1. The article ia very interesting.The internal assessment should not be 50% of marks as it may tend to have corruption in geting such high markes.It can be restricted up to 25%.Instead of allowing the universities to have its own system of conducting examination,it is better to have a central Ayush University with the powers of UGC to develop all systems under its perview.All the problems narrated by the author could be fulfilled only if such university is established under enacted laws to function under Ayush and not under any other authorites to have good coordination.

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