Basic changes needed in homoeopathic curriculum

Dr. R. Valavan
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Many stalwarts of homoeopathy have contributed and have been contributing towards the up gradation of the standard of homoeopathic education. Though we have crossed many milestones from forming the uniform standard throughout the country to starting post graduate courses, still there are much needed to uplift the homoeopathic education further, so that it may cater better towards country’s health-care. The quality of homoeopathic education would form the basis for the effective practice of individual physician, success rate of the disease by homoeopathy, status of homoeopathy, perception of people about homoeopathy and healthy society through homoeopathy. Many academic experts have made appeals for improving the standards of homoeopathic education in various publications. Despite that, the quality of education is rather deteriorating in many parts of the country. Imparting high quality education would aid the growth of homoeopathy in this era when India is becoming as homoeopathic hale. Though homoeopathic colleges are facing poor admission of candidates, stricter regulation would help in the long run. Leniency to ameliorate the situation would harm the system over a period. Following are certain points to improve the quality of homoeopathic education. Inputs from various senior homoeopathic academicians from different streams were obtained.

Drugs included in the 1st year materia medica syllabus.
Many academicians want more number of drugs in the first year materia medica syllabus. Presently only 25 drugs are in the first year syllabus. Many polychrests have to be added in that. It is surprising to know that important remedies like Arsenicum album, Belladonna, Calcarea carbonica, Causticum, Graphites, Lachesis, Lycopodium, Mercurius solubilis, Natrum muriaticum, Phosphorus, Pulsatilla, Sepia, Sulphur and Thuja are excluded from the current syllabus. Majority of these drugs are not even in the second year, but in the third year. Studying main and important polychrests from the first year itself would be helpful when the student enter in to clinical side to observe the patients.

Detailed pharmacy and pharmacology
In addition to the present pharmacy syllabus, pharmacology of homoeopathic drugs have to be added in the second or final year. Further, recent researches in homoeopathic ultra dilutions are also to be added. In the present hostile situation this would equip the students to handle skeptic queries and increase their confidence level. More exposure and material are needed to help proper selection of potencies.

Getting cadaver to homoeopathic colleges is becoming more and more difficult. Even government run colleges are without cadavers. CCH has to seriously look into that. Perhaps an order from the ministry level to district hospitals may help. It will help students to understand various aspects of human body. Teachers can use it as a tool to enlarge the spectrum of study.

Good clinical exposure to students
A good clinical exposure is necessary for the effective learning of homoeopathic practice. Infrastructure of OPDs and IPDs play a crucial role. Reports suggest that not all the institutions are with adequate infrastructure. Improving OPDs and IPDs would give good clinical exposure to students. Clinical training is most important in medical education. To get the students more clinical exposure, leading clinicians could be made available as visiting faculty. Their deep clinical experience would enrich the students’ knowledge in clinical practice. It would improve the understanding of the difficulties and problems in practice and their troubleshooting. Despite the usual practice of visiting faculty with a particular subject tag, a designation like ‘Visiting Clinician’ can be created.

Exposure in the management of emergency conditions
Exposure in the management of diseases in emergency conditions is needed. Many colleges do even not have certain basic equipments like nebulizer. Such facilities are to be made in the IPD so that students and interns have experience in using minor management tools.

More surgical cases
More surgical cases within the scope of homoeopathy have to be handled in the OPDs. At least a part time surgeon should be appointed. Handling surgical cases at student level itself raise the confidence. He/she may not necessary practice this but will be able to discriminate a purely surgical case for surgeons from homoeopathically manageable cases.

Computer training
Special computer training is needed. World has become computerized. By using computers, case taking, record keeping, referring books, repertorisation, etc. have become much easier. Such training at the initial level itself is necessary.

New post graduate streams
Few more branches in post graduate level would enhance the knowledge of certain field of medicine. News is floating about starting of obstetrics & gynaecology and dermatology branches since a long, but not yet materialized. A special homoeopathic doctor for skin and gynaecology would have positive impact about the system among public.

Abolishing external MD
Since regular MD course was started, there is no point in keeping the external MD still. Several attempts to abolish this have failed. The time frame of 8 years from the 2001 amendment has expired, but still it is continuing. A stern decision to stop external MD is to be taken by the new office bearers of CCH.

First year syllabus of post graduation
First year syllabus of post graduation contains only general subjects. A candidate enrolled for a specialty subject has to involve in activities in the subject concerned from the first year itself and that should be accessed in the part 1 examination itself. A paper on the special subject is to be included.

Stricter implementation of regulations
Central Council of Homoeopathy has formulated minimum requirements for colleges. But there are allegations as per published reports that many colleges are running with poor infrastructure. There is news that regular post graduate degrees are granted as postal degree. Permissions to such colleges are granted and extended despite regular inspections. As pointed out by an Ex-Adviser (Homoeopathy), representation of the academicians in the Central Council of Homoeopathy has to be maximized. To achieve this, the choice of Central Government nominations needs to be made to suit the above requirement. A vigilant committee/team that can inspect the institutions without prior notification would have an impact.

BHMS as eligibility for various doctoral programmes
Many BHMS graduates have done and are doing higher studies in different fields like anatomy, microbiology, clinical embryology, etc. But neither BHMS nor MD (Hom) is eligible for many PhD programmes for which many life sciences courses are eligible. If CCH looks into this matter and manages to get this eligibility criteria changed, many homoeopaths would enter into such field of researches. It would be an opportunity for them to explore the homoeopathic research in such allied fields.

The points given above are only a few suggestions of many given by academicians. The education committee of the CCH will be in an appropriate position to explore all, analyse and implement.

*Published in Homoeopathy for All, July 2010 issue.

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