MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

This could (and perhaps should) be a very short post:

I HAVE NO QUALIFICATIONS IN HOMEOPATHY!

NONE!!!

[the end]

The reason why it is not quite as short as that lies in the the fact that homeopathy-fans regularly start foaming from the mouth when they state, and re-state, and re-state, and re-state this simple, undeniable fact.

The latest example is by our friend Barry Trestain who recently commented on this blog no less than three times about the issue:

  1. Falsified? You didn’t have any qualifications falsified or otherwise according to this. In quotes as well lol. Perhaps you could enlighten us all on this. Edzard Ernst, Professor of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) at Exeter University, is the most frequently cited „expert‟ by critics of homeopathy, but a recent interview has revealed the astounding fact that he “never completed any courses” and has no qualifications in homeopathy. What is more his principal experience in the field was when “After my state exam I worked under Dr Zimmermann at the Münchner Krankenhaus für Naturheilweisen” (Munich Hospital for Natural Healing Methods). Asked if it is true that he only worked there “for half a year”, he responded that “I am not sure … it is some time ago”!
  2. I don’t know what you got. I’m only going by your quotes above. You didn’t pass ANY exams. “Never completed any courses and has no qualifications in Homeopathy.” Those aren’t my words.
  3. LOL qualification for their cat? You didn’t even get a psuedo qualification and on top of that you practiced Homeopathy for 20 years eremember. With no qualifications. You are a fumbling and bumbling Proffessor of Cam? LOL. In fact I think I’ll make my cat a proffessor of Cam. Why not? He’ll be as qualified as you.

Often, these foaming (and in their apoplectic fury badly-spelling) defenders of homeopathy state or imply that I lied about all this. Yet, it is they who are lying, if they say so. I never claimed that I got any qualifications in homeopathy; I was trained in homeopathy by doctors of considerable standing in their field just like I was trained in many other clinical skills (what is more, I published a memoir where all this is explained in full detail).

In my bewilderment, I sometimes ask my accusers why they think I should have got a qualification in homeopathy. Sadly, so far, I  have not received a logical answer (most of the time not even an illogical one).

So, today I ask the question again: WHY SHOULD I HAVE NEEDED ANY QUALIFICATION IN HOMEOPATHY?

My answers are here:

  1. I consider such qualifications as laughable.  A proper qualification in nonsense is just nonsense!
  2. For practising homeopathy (which I did for a while), I did not need such qualifications; as a licensed physician, I was at liberty to use the treatments I felt to be adequate.
  3. For researching homeopathy (which I did too and published ~120 Medline-listed papers as a result of it), I do not need them either. Anyone can research homeopathy, and some of the most celebrated heroes of homeopathy research (e. g. Klaus Linde and Robert Mathie) do also have no such qualifications.

I am therefore truly puzzled and write this post to give everyone the chance to name the reasons why they feel I needed qualifications in homeopathy.

Please do tell me!

7 Responses to My qualifications in homeopathy: the truth and nothing but the truth

  • This reminds me of the “jade egg” wars between the highly reputable gynaecologist Dr Jen Gunther and a variety of dubious individuals and charlatans.

    According to Gwyneth Paltrow and her associates at Goop, it is wonderfully empowering for women to stick jade eggs up their vaginas.

    Dr Gunther posted a highly informative blog post explaining why inserting jade eggs in vaginas is a very bad idea and could lead to infections and all kinds of other problems.

    Dr Gunther was then trolled by various charlatans who claimed that she lacked educational training and qualifications in Traditional Chinese Medicine and other traditional Asian female genital empowerment practices to be able to comment.

    Anyone interested can read Dr Gunther’s blog post and the subsequent discussion and trolling here:
    https://drjengunter.wordpress.com/2017/01/17/dear-gwyneth-paltrow-im-a-gyn-and-your-vaginal-jade-eggs-are-a-bad-idea/

    I think that there are resonances between the trolling of Dr Gunther and the trolling of Edzard, the same dynamics are at play. I think it may be useful to reflect upon how these debates unfold so as to consider strategies for dealing with them from a proactive, rather than reactive, position.

    Just sharing some provisional thoughts.

    • Sorry, err jade eggs in vaginas?
      Usually my first thought is to check if an “idea” could be credible. However, with this one I’m going straight to, what the Internet describes as “WTF” but will keep it at the back of my mind for those times I need a chuckle.

  • The first time I heard about the dead cat certification was in one Dr. Ben Goldacre’s books, where he claimed to have successfully registered his deceased cat with the American Association of Nutritional Consultants, thus demonstrating that their accreditation should not be considered sufficient for a nutritionist to support their authority in the subject.

    FYI: Here is the cat in question:
    https://twitter.com/catnutritionist?lang=en

    Hettie has not twitted in a long time, probably Goldacre has made his point clear.

  • When I ask an economist whether something is expensive, she will reply: “compared to what?”
    When confronted with the question of whether a homeopath is qualified I think it might be pertinent to ask “how and by whom?”

    I did some Google-ing for qualifications in homeopathy, with rather confusing results. But in the end it seems to me that the only requirement professor Ernst is missing is paying for a membership in the faculty of homeopathy 😀

    • I did some Google-ing for qualifications in homeopathy, with rather confusing results. But in the end it seems to me that the only requirement professor Ernst is missing is paying for a membership in the faculty of homeopathy

      Why? The Faculty of Homeopathy Act 1950 includes a provision stating that “every diploma certificate or other recognition granted independently by the Faculty shall contain on the face of it a statement to the effect that it does not of itself confer or purport to confer any legal qualification to practise homoeopathy”.

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