Schwabe News Volume 2 | Issue 5 | October 2011
Repertory mistakes in modern homeopathy have been pointed out since the early years after the publication of the sixth edition of Kent’s repertory. A structural error of many current repertories is the use of Kent’s repertory as a basic information source. ‘Fear of ghosts’ is widely considered to be a symptom of Lycopodium clavatum by the homeopathic community. This literature work is aimed to demonstrate that the source of ‘fear of ghosts’ in Lycopodium clavatum was an inaccurate translation, that has been spread by secondary sources and to review Hahnemann’s conception and efforts towards a reliable repertory. The workers have found that the symptom ‘fear of ghosts’ does not exist in the primary source, being the product of a misunderstanding of the English translation of Hahnemann’s original record, ‘fear of frightful imaginary images’. Hahnemann’s efforts to compile a reliable and complete dictionary of Materia Medica were also briefly presented, as well as Rückert’s repertory, which, in addition to collating and classifying symptoms in alphabetical rubrics and sub-rubrics, displayed them completely, as registered in primary sources. The misunderstanding about ‘fear of ghosts’ in Lycopodium clavatum exemplifies how distant current homeopathic information is from its primary sources and from Hahnemann’s ideal of a symptom-lexicon. In spite of its technical limitations, Rückert’s repertory, which was strongly recommended by Hahnemann, can be considered as a template for new repertories based on primary sources.
This study was conducted to identify the factors that make a good doctor, both from a patient and a physician perspective. Researchers had tried to answer a question ‘is there a connection between practicing homoeopathy and being a good doctor?’ This was a qualitative study of homoeopathically trained physicians and their patients, using observation of patient–physician interactions (n=29) and interviews with patients (n=20) and with physicians (n=4).
Patients identified the availability of time, both in itself and as a prerequisite for other physician characteristics, as the single most important factor. Other factors include scope of diagnosis/holistic approach, patient-centeredness/empathy, and perceived competence/therapeutic success. Patients did not link these factors to the homoeopathic orientation of their physician, while physicians clearly made this connection. The findings confirm other studies of patient satisfaction and physician characteristics. The availability of time, a holistic approach, and high physician empathy lead to high patient satisfaction. Homoeopathic physicians probably are more likely to exhibit these characteristics.
Health care policy should create conditions that enable individual physicians to be “good doctors.” For medical education, a stronger emphasis on interpersonal skills and practitioner empathy could lead to higher patient satisfaction and potentially better treatment outcomes. Homoeopathy might provide a good role model for this type of education.
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