Post graduation in homeopathy, from Vinayaka missions homeopathic medical college, Salem: three years of insightful learning and practical experience
Soon after completing BHMS from Government Homeopathic Medical College, Calicut, I started my clinical practice. Ten months later I joined for MD Homeopathy in Organon of Medicine and Homeopathic Philosophy, at Vinayaka Missions Homeopathic Medical College, Salem, Tamil Nadu. I chose that college because it had become familiar to me since many of my relatives and friends studied there. I had a passion for General Philosophy and Organon of Medicine. More than that my search for a perfect guide ended up in Prof.Dr.E.S.Rajendran who is an eminent academician, writer and an orator well known worldwide.
On August 25th 2015 our course began. Salem geographically marked for its saris, steel and mangoes, welcomed me with short drizzling evenings and cooler dawns. Indeed the college was a beautiful depiction of South India with students from all the states of South India and even a few from the North and North East too, students with varieties of culture, beliefs, languages, practices together studying and experiencing homeopathy! The first task for a non-Tamil speaking student was to learn spoken Tamil, to take the cases. For no surprise a couple of cases which I took and prescribed never came back for follow up, may be just to escape from my ‘Malayalamized Tamil’ and because of the ‘communication gaps’ that occurred. But later I started to gear up well with the help of teachers, seniors and interns.
Separate OPDs for PGs of each department played a big role in making us ‘self reliant doctors’. My guide Prof.Dr.E.S.Rajendran helped us and guided us in diagnosing, prescribing and following the cases whenever required. That helped me improve my skills in all levels of approaching a case. He stressed on doing the necessary investigations for the cases at the earliest. He asked to make it a habit of referring repertories while tackling each and every case. He advised us to do it, turning the pages of the repertory book, rather than doing computer repertorisation, for he said the rubrics and remedies seen on the computer screen, though they save time and keep accuracy, fade away from our memories, the moment we close the software. As per his advice I started to decide up on and note down an array of remedies including the follow ups to be given during the course of treatment of each case, thereby making treatment plans in advance. Cases of locomotory diseases, diabetes, hypertension, psoriasis, dermatitis, allergic rhinitis, sinusitis, bronchitis, bronchial asthma, female complaints, infertility and all were frequently encountered within the OPD. It was a platform to discuss cases among ourselves and to demonstrate cases and physical examinations to the under graduate students.
The marvelous cures and improvements which we experienced added to our knowledge and clinical experience, boosting up our confidence in clinical practice. The cases which we admitted and treated include spina bifida occulta, thyroglossal cyst, congestive cardiac failure, chronic renal failure, nephrotic syndrome, mitochondrial cytopathy, acute lymphocytic leukemia, myelodysplastic syndrome. The case of thyroglossal cyst advised by an ENT doctor to undergo surgery, a lean, thin boy of 5 years, with painful swelling in the midline of neck, dysphagia and hoarse voice, very restless, intense craving for milk was given Nat mur 0/1 water doses, 10 drops three times daily for 3 days. On the second day the cyst started reduce in size, disappeared completely by the third day! The boy had no recurrences yet. Rather than jotting down the medicines given in these cases I learnt how to approach the cases.
Both in part I and part II, I got great opportunities to attend the splendid lectures on General Philosophy by Prof.Dr.E.S.Rajendran. Indeed it was an ordeal through the history of philosophy, sailing through civilizations, culture, language, religion, and science touching almost all the echelons of developmental process of human beings. The way he related the philosophical concepts and theories of different eras to that of homeopathic principles and their evolution depicted his immense knowledge in general philosophy and in-depth understanding of homeopathy in all its accepts. In parallel to the classes, we read his book New Lights which awarded more clarity. Evolution of the concept of miasms, comparative analysis of the manifestations of the different miasms were taught in the most simple and unique style by Prof.Dr.E.S.Rajendran. The rampantly learnt miasms and the half baked understanding of the concept and manifestations was modified by the process of relearning and unlearning, through the classes as well as by the thorough reading of the book, Nucleus, Theory on Chronic Diseases. It was exactly like what Leonardo Vinci said, ‘The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding’.
In Practice of Medicine Clinical classes, Prof.Dr.Sabarirajan demonstrated systemic examinations of patients and he was indeed instrumental in augmenting and perfecting my skills in the physical examination of the patients. Research Methodology was a bit difficult to understand and learn, but our teacher Dr.H.Venkatesan was patient enough to explain, demonstrate the concepts and points and this helped us to get acquainted with the subject well and to become thorough with it. A better understanding of research topics helped us in our thesis works too.
The weekly Clinical Meetings were effective in providing training to tackle different cases, to form different opinions, make healthy discussions and to share experiences thereby boosting my confidence as a homeopathic physician. Similarly, the Journal Clubs awarded me with an insight on recent advancements in homeopathy including researches, clinical trials and improved our skills in analyzing and learning from the articles. Another exceptional experience which I had was in handling theory classes for the UG students. I believe that I utilized the opportunities to the maximum possible extent to edify and inspire the young buds. This helped me to be thorough with the topic, improved my confidence and augmented my teaching skills. Discussions and seminar presentations lead by Dr. Sampaul Ravin and Dr. Geetha Amsavel helped me to acquaint with the concepts and philosophies of Organon, plus it aided us to have a clear cut idea and that helped me improve a lot. Doing assignments on homeopathic subjects as well as general medicine, recent researches, discoveries, future prospects etc improved my reading, understanding skills and equipped me in preparing articles in an organized way.
For my thesis, ‘Efficacy of fifty millesimal potencies on the management of chronic paranasal sinusitis’, cases were taken, investigated, evaluated and medicines in fifty millesimal potencies were prescribed. Three or four pills of the medicine was put in a30 ml dropper bottle and the bottle was filled with distilled water and 5 – 8 drops of rectified spirit was added to it, given ten strong succussions was added and the patient was asked to take 10 drops of it dissolved in ¼ glass of water, three times daily for a fortnight or a month, according to the case. In the beginning of the study, itself I was amazed to see the rapid curative action of the fifty millesimal potencies. Gradually PGs including me started using fifty millesimal potencies, started to give medicines in solutions, asked the patients to take 10 drops three times daily rather than the age old cliché of using dry doses and waiting and watching… Indeed that was a revolutionary change which Prof.Dr.E.S.Rajendran did overthrowing the habituated practices and blindly followed dispensing styles. As per my guide’s direction and encouragement, representing Vinayaka Missions University, I presented my study on sinusitis at the Student Research Convention held at Tumkur University, Karnataka, conducted by Association of Indian Universities, New Delhi.
I was fortunate enough to attend the International Homeopathy Summit at Mumbai, conducted by Global Homeopathy Foundation. Rather than routine case presentations, which we usually see in conferences, the GHF conference focused on advanced researches in homeopathy. There were homeopaths, biologists, physicists, nuclear scientists, biochemists and scientists from different branches of science from different countries who are doing researches, especially on the efficacy of homeopathic medicines, their contents, pharmacological actions etc. The most spectacular paper was that presented by our director and guide Prof.Dr. E. S. Rajendran on the discovery of nano particles in the homeopathic medicines of varied sources in all ranges of dilutions. The presentation was received with loud applauses and appreciation, making the homeopathic students and practitioners remain in high spirits. Later his paper on the same concept was presented at ‘Nano Homeopathica’, one day national conference at Salem. Along with this his third book, Nanodynamics was released. Being his student I felt it easy to understand the concepts and the discoveries he have made. Fortunately we could attend the open viva of the PhD thesis of Prof.Dr.E.S.Rajendran, the first ever PhD viva in homeopathy in India. That was an awesome and unique experience for us which ignited an inferno of inspiration to do PhD in the future.
Monthly CME Programmes presented by eminent homeopathic doctors from different places and alumni of the college were influential in adding up our knowledge and initiated us to take effort to become successful homeopaths. The specialty posting at allopathic hospitals is the unique feature of the PG course in the college. We attended departments of General Medicine, General Surgery, Emergency Medicine, Radiology, Nephrology and Orthopedics. Dr. Prabhakaran, Department of General Medicine, VIMS Hospital, was crucial in providing immense help to us through discussion of the cases in his OP as well as IP. He was ready to spend his valuable time for training and teaching us. During the one month of posting I could upgrade my knowledge regarding diagnoses, general and surgical management.
Maintaining Day books helped us to evaluate ourselves. Moreover separate notes on seminar, discussion, journal and clinical meetings, and a log book helped us to remain organized. Attending two model examinations prior to each university exams, in pat I and II made me thorough with the theory and practical, boosted my confidence, helped me gain momentum to perform well in the university papers.
The three years of course filled the lacunae in my under graduate learning and it illuminated and inspired me to do smart and hard work to excel in the principles as well as practice of the science of homeopathy, which is an art too, required to be handled with a skilled artist. I was fortunate enough to be guided by a good teacher, Prof.Dr.E.S.Rajendran, who inspired me, ignited the passion for homeopathy and instilled a love of learning in me. The teachers of Organon and all other department heads and professors were always ready to help and guide us at any time. The three years brought excellent transformations in me and all my batch mates, provided change is the outcome of all good learning. We were just learning, not always taught. Rather than being shackled within the four walls of classrooms or clinics, with strict rules and dictatorial approaches, I enjoyed lot of freedom and that helped me to nurture my academic progression, develop clinical skills and at the end refine my personality too.
The institution has to go a long way in refining and reforming itself, developing the infra structure, harnessing the immense potentials of teachers and thereby mould out eminent homeopaths with caliber to serve the society well. My words to the post graduates, ”Scores of opportunities are awaiting you here, your attitude and approach determines the volume of knowledge and experience you could imbibe from here. No day should be spent off without learning or trying out something”. With reverence, I thank the founders of the university and the institution, all the university and institutional heads, the Director, Principal and Medical Superintendent of VMHMCH. I thank all the teachers and non teaching staffs, UG and PG students, natives of Sreeragapadi, my family and all those who helped me to complete the course successfully.
Dr Thaslim. M
13th (2014-15) Batch MD(Hom)
Department of Organon of Medicine and Homeopathic Philosophy
Vinayaka Missions Homeopathic Medical College, Salem, Tamil Nadu