MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd

Indian researchers published a survey aimed at determining the practice of prescription by homeopathic undergraduate students. A cross-sectional study was carried out involving all the students from 4 government homeopathic schools of West Bengal, India. Data were collected using self-administered questionnaires.

A total of 328 forms were completed. 80.5% of all homeopathic undergraduate students admitted prescribing homeopathic medicines independently and 40.5% said that they did this 2-3 times a year. The most common reasons for this activity were ‘urgency of the problem’ (35.2%), ‘previous experience with same kind of illness’ (31.8%), and ‘the problem too trivial to go to a doctor’ (25.8%). About 63.4% of the students thought that it was alright to independently diagnose an illness, while 51.2% thought that it was alright for them to prescribe medicines to others. Common conditions encountered were fever, indigestion, and injury. Prescription by students gradually increased with academic years of homeopathic schools. Many students thought it was alright for students to diagnose and treat illnesses.

The authors conclude that prescription of medicines by homeopathic undergraduate students is quite rampant and corrective measures are warranted.

It’s hard to know whether to laugh or cry about these findings:

  • If you are a homeopath, you ought to be upset to hear that students who are obviously neither fully trained, qualified or licensed already prescribe medicines.
  • If you are aware of the fact that homeopathic remedies are pure placebos, you might laugh about all this thinking “who cares?”
  • If you are into public health, you will worry that homeopaths are obviously being taught that homeopathic remedies can treat conditions which are considered to be urgent.
  • If you are someone who believes that sick people need evidence-based treatments, you might want to change the authors’ conclusion into something like: prescription of medicines by homeopaths is quite rampant and, in the interest of patients, corrective measures are required to stop them.

6 Responses to Which ever way you look at it, homeopathy makes no sense

  • The label “Théâtre de l’Absurde” comes to mind.

  • And the Government of India has certainly not helped matters by legitimizing quackery through their AYUSH program. It’s a sad, sad situation.

  • It’s like trying to define a homeopathic “overdose”–enough magic water to drown you, or nothing at all– but still sucussed or thumped on the Bible or whatever they do to secure the magic.

  • By the way,in the US, there is no “undergraduate” program that teaches homeopathic medicine practices. It’s required to be a naturopathic PHYSICIAN. it’s cute that you cherry pick for other countries with far lower standards than others to “prove” your point..l

    • By the way,in the US, there is no “undergraduate” program that teaches homeopathic medicine practices. It’s required to be a naturopathic PHYSICIAN. it’s cute that you cherry pick for other countries with far lower standards than others to “prove” your point..l

      The only requirement to want to study and practice homeopathy and to make it through a curriculum of pure nonsense must be to have very limited understanding of natural reality, or simply be disabled intellectually. If you paid any attention in science class in primary school and had an average working intelligence you would realise that shaken water is … just water The molecules are still farting around like brainless hens without any navigational purpose. And further you would understand that if by some adventurous twist of nature that no one has found, these chaotic water molecules managed to carry forth a healing force in some form, this message would promptly evaporate along with the dihydrogen-oxyde molecules when the sugar pilules dry out.
      (Oh-christ… I find myself once again feeding common knowledge with a spoon to people who have a selective malabsorption to such simple facts due to cognitive dissonance, financial conflict and a mistaken professional vanity. )

      I got curious and looked up the term naturopathic “physician”. It seems that the title these people prefer is ND, Naturopathic doctor, right?
      How I resent such inflated use of titles that make people think these are the same as real medical doctors.
      I thought medical education and licensing was very strict in the US but then I read somewhere that

      NDs treat all medical conditions…

      Oh my!! Is this for real?
      In the future when traveling in the US I am going to make sure I carry a Med-Alert badge saying “No ND! This person requires fully qualified medical attention”

      • Björn Geir said:

        I got curious and looked up the term naturopathic “physician”. It seems that the title these people prefer is ND, Naturopathic doctor, right?
        How I resent such inflated use of titles that make people think these are the same as real medical doctors.

        Although some with an ND ‘qualification’, it generally just means Naturopathic Diploma, not Doctor. However, that doesn’t seem to stop many claiming they are. It is illegal to represent yourself as a registered doctor in the UK and certainly a breach of the advertising code to even imply that.

        In the future when traveling in the US I am going to make sure I carry a Med-Alert badge saying “No ND! This person requires fully qualified medical attention”

        I think I’d get it tattooed on my forehead! I’d also be considering adding ‘no osteopathic doctors’.

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