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HindustanTimes Tue,22 Apr 2014
Nature’s cure
Hindustan Times
New Delhi, January 08, 2013
First Published: 18:48 IST(8/1/2013)
Last Updated: 19:00 IST(8/1/2013)
Matter of fact: Homeopathy is about treating the patient as a whole, not just the disease

The lowdown


Homeopathy is a vitalist philosophy in that it interprets diseases as caused by disturbances in a hypothetical vital or life force. These disturbances, it is believed, manifest themselves as unique symptoms. Homeopathy maintains that the vital force can derange and adapt to internal and external causes that homeopaths refer to as the ‘law of similia’. This law implies that a substance that causes the symptoms of a disease in healthy people will cure similar symptoms in sick people. However, the father of this system, Samuel Hahnemann, rejected the notion of a disease as a separate thing or invading entity and insisted that it was always part of the ‘living whole’. He integrated the principles found in the writings of ancient philosophers into a holistic system of therapeutics called homeopathy.

Clockwork
Below is the work schedule of a homeopathic doctor working in a hospital. The time devoted to OPDs may vary according to shifts. However, a doctor in private practice will have a different schedule, depending on the timings of his/her clinic
9am: Reach hospital
9.15am to 1pm: Take classes with undergraduate and postgraduate students
1.30pm: Quick lunch
2pm to 3pm: Conduct clinical classes for students
4pm: Treat patients in OPDs
4pm to 5.30pm: Check patients in the ward
6pm onwards: Go to the library, read journals and prepare for next day’s lecture
6.30pm: Call it a day

The payoff
In the government sector:
Entry level: Rs. 45,000 per month
Middle level: Rs. 70,000 per month
Senior level: Rs. 90,000 per month
Private practitioners can earn anything between Rs. 50,000 - Rs. 1 lakh per month. For a senior doctor with roaring practice/multiple clinics, the sky is the limit

Skills/TRAITS
* You must be a good listener, able to gauge psychological as well as physical problems to make diagnosis easy and find a quick cure for the patient
* Good powers of observation
* He/she should be a very good counsellor
* Untiring zeal to restore the sick to health

Getting there
Take up physics, chemistry and  biology in Class 11 and 12 and then do a bachelor of homeopathic medicine and surgery (BHMS) programme, which is the minimum essential qualification. This five-and-a-half-year course includes a year’s compulsory internship. After getting a BHMS degree from a recognised institute, one has a number of options, like teaching, private practice, research, etc. One can also work as a medical officer at dispensaries of Delhi government, Municipal Corporation of Delhi and New Delhi Municipal Corporation; in the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS); in Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) and in the National Rural Health Mission. Else, you can go in for a three-year postgraduate course in homeopathy (MD). You have seven branches in which you can specialise — materia medica, organon of medicine, repertory, pharmacy, practice of medicine, paediatrics and psychology

Institutes and URLs
* National Institute of Homoeopathy, Kolkata                                              
        nih.nic.in
* Nehru Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital, New Delhi
        www.nhmc.delhigovt.nic.in
* BR Sur Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital, New Delhi
        www.delhihomeo.com
* JSPS Government Homeopathic Medical Medical College, Hyderabad
        www.jspshomeocollege.in
* Government Homoeopathic Medical College, Calicut
        www.ghmccalicut.org

Pros and cons
* It provides great satisfaction
* Good growth prospects in a government set-up
* A sense of helplessness while dealing with an emergency case
* No specialisation in surgery

As the National Rural Health Mission by the government of India will be extended more in rural areas, job opportunities are expected to increase in two or three years -- VK Dhawan, national president, Indian Homoeopathic Medical Association


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