Case taking or rather I would say as CASE RECEIVING (since we are at the receivers end), is a skill. The art of interrogation provides superior quality foundation for homoeopathic prescription to be made. A good case taking is the very basis for the precise similimum to be prescribed. There are homoeopaths who are well versed in this art of case receiving. However there are also physicians who record and document the whole case in just a mechanical manner. Numbers of pages of the case record form are being filled, with complete absence or deficiency of peculiar symptoms. Such case taking do not yield any success. Efforts should be made to establish a connecting link between each event in the case. Every case taking is like swimming deep in the ocean, in the search of pearls. When we have number of pearls in hand, still we require the connecting link, the thread, so that the pearls can be beaded and transformed into necklace.
Not infrequently, visitors to homoeopath are patients who have travelled from one doctor to another and conclude their voyage into his clinic. It is then that we examine the information, as an expert, and pronounce a specialist’s opinion. This is one of the supreme responsibilities that the physician has to undertake. If the disciple of homoeopathy is failure in this art of case taking, then it is a sorry state, where he will ruin the name of homoeopathic science. Neglecting the art of case taking is the most disastrous and most unfortunate error that beginners may perhaps carry out in young practice.
Once the complete data is accessible of the case, next comes the most vital step in the direction of achieving the similimum, the evaluation of symptoms. I would describe EVALUATION of symptoms as (E-VALUATION), giving the deserved value to each symptom. If one intends to defeat disease, it becomes essential for him to understand and appreciate the symptom information precisely. The flawless appreciation of symptom will lead us to individualize the patient, individualize the disease, as well as individualizing the remedy, and with this remains no doubt of disease annihilation.
He can be the best prescriber, one who can be the best evaluator of symptoms. Those who know the secret of evaluation of symptoms are flourishing homoeopathic physicians. The experienced prescriber’s have eagles eye for characteristic symptoms. They can promptly recognize the characteristic symptoms from group of large number of symptoms. It is the knowledge and experience that teaches this art of evaluating symptom.
The cause of the disease, (Exciting cause, in case of acute state of disease and Fundamental cause, in case of chronic disease), is always of highest value. It should under no circumstances be deserted. The characteristic modalities of the case (except those which are common to a known state of pathological disease), and the common symptoms which mark their attendance in intense severity are all characteristic symptoms. If any alternating symptoms are found or if periodicity of symptoms is discovered in the case, they are characteristic, abandoning them will be disastrous. The concomitant of the case are such kind of peculiar symptoms that accompany the chief complaint without having any physiopathological relationship with it. Such symptoms may be considered useless or accidental or irrelevant by our allopathic colleagues. But for a homoeopath these are very important symptoms. These concomitant are voices of the remedy. These are characteristics that cannot be afforded to be mistreated. If you come across a case where in only few common symptoms are evident and rest of the case is masked, then consider those few, although common symptoms, to be the characteristics and prescribe on those few symptoms and wait patiently for the new picture to emerge.
Subsequent to evaluation of symptoms and unearthing the characteristic symptoms of the case, then next comes repertorization.
After reportorial analysis, you may be left with either a single remedy that covers all the characteristic symptoms, and in such situations usually it is the indicated remedy or you may have 4 to 5 remedies covering all the characteristic symptoms with different marks obtained by each remedy. Here, one should not be misguided by the numerical hierarchy of the remedies. Numerical hierarchy does not decide the remedy. In such a situation go back to the materia medica and refer the remedy quickly. And differentiate it accordingly. Prescribe the one which seems to be most similar in Disposition, in pathology and in particulars also.