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Editorial
5 (
2
); 33-35
doi:
10.25259/JISH_36_2022

Refreshing, redrafting and reforming: Homoeopathic education

Department of Repertory, Dr. M. L. Dhawale Memorial Homoeopathic Institute, Rural Homoeopathic Hospital, Palghar, Maharashtra, India
Corresponding author: Dr. Nikunj J. Jani, Department of Repertory, Dr. M. L. Dhawale Memorial Homoeopathic Institute, Rural Homoeopathic Hospital, Palghar, Maharashtra, India. drnikunj@gmail.com
Licence
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-Share Alike 4.0 License, which allows others to remix, transform, and build upon the work non-commercially, as long as the author is credited and the new creations are licensed under the identical terms.

How to cite this article: Jani NJ. Refreshing, redrafting and reforming: Homoeopathic education. J Intgr Stand Homoeopathy 2022;5:33-5.

Education is not Easy. That we have learnt the hard way: through our failures. Accepting the need to re-educate ourselves, is a major decision, not easily taken. When taken, few comprehend fully the implications of it and how far it will force them to travel. The world has been moving fast, we cannot afford to sleep. The costs of not changing fast are stupendous.’

- Dr. M. L. Dhawale[1]

In his book, Perceiving 1, Dr M. L. Dhawale has laid out a complete road map for conceptualising and delivering quality homoeopathic education. For over a century, homoeopaths have been nurtured and trained using the writings of the old masters who recorded their experiences, failures and observations. The teaching curriculum designed with the help of that information is still used in our educational institutions. In a rapidly changing world, it is essential to have a robust educational system in homoeopathy which will train the students of homoeopathy to face the challenges of globalisation and constantly updating and evolving healthcare models.[2] In this evolving world, if homoeopathy has to sustain itself as a clinical and academic discipline that can compete with conventional medicine, it has to be tested in a climate of awareness, criticism and collaboration. This will allow the evolution of an up-to-date curriculum, which, in turn, will safeguard the interests of homoeopathic patients, students and physicians as well as improve the overall holistic health and well-being of the nation.[3]

The National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020), approved by the Union Cabinet in July 2020, outlines the vision for India’s new education system and aims to transform our policy. It recommends that medical education be integrated with the service delivery system so that students learn in a real-world environment, in the community and not just in the confines of educational institutions. The National Commission of Homoeopathy, India, has initiated steps for revamping the existing parameters for imparting quality education in homoeopathy.[4] NEP 2020 has given the highest importance to the role of the teacher in bringing about the transformation of education in the country.[2]

A policy paper on revitalising homoeopathic education and its integration with principles of medical education and NEP 2020 proposed a bold departure from the current practices of homoeopathic education. The proposals suggested are deeply rooted in the principles of homoeopathy enunciated by Dr Hahnemann and in the sufficiently tested practices of Medical Education that evolved over the past century. The formulation of the NEP 2020 has raised new possibilities, of breaking decisively from the past and charting a new future that will respond creatively to the demands of our science. We need a fine integration of the Hahnemannian philosophy with developments in medical education; this would be most successful if done on the bedrock of the NEP 2020.[5]

The reforms must include a competency-based curriculum – having defined goals with valuable outcomes.[6] Emphasis must be placed on integrating research with homoeopathic education, which would make them interrelated, dependent and complementary to each other. This must include exposure to research methodology as a subject at the undergraduate level, having a more robust homoeopathic pharmaceutical industry and educational institutional interactions,[7] encouraging publications in peer-reviewed journals of homoeopathy and medical sciences,[8] introduction of scientific writing as a compulsory module in postgraduate (PG) education so that the standard and quality of dissertations at the PG and doctorate levels is of high quality.

Reforms are also required for the delivery of the course; training in health sciences educational methodology for teachers from all homoeopathic colleges must be mandatory. Other than the formal lecture method, emphasis must be placed on small group learning,[9] case-based learning,[10] peer-assisted learning,[11] application of multimedia in the training of homoeopathic students[12] and online education and online modules.

Change must also occur at the level of assessments, evaluation and examination and methods such as Objective Structured Clinical Examination. The assessment techniques need to test the higher domains of Bloom’s Taxonomy and Extended Matching Questions (EMQ) are considered an extremely useful tool in medical education to assess clinical diagnostic thinking. In this issue, we have an original paper by Rao, which demonstrates the utility of EMQ as an assessment tool for homoeopathic students. The findings truly demonstrate the potential of EMQ as a tool which will enable the assessment of homoeopathic students to go beyond just simple recall and memorisation.[13]

We must also work toward integrating Homoeopathic Philosophy with Repertory, Homoeopathic Materia Medica and Clinical Medicine. The compartmentalised division of the Bachelor of Homoeopathic Medicine and Surgery syllabus into 12 distinct subjects does not allow this integration. The subject of Advanced Teachings in Fundamentals of Homoeopathy was recently added to the MD Part 1 syllabus. The subject attempts to address this lacuna of integration and foster the development of various competencies necessary for effective homoeopathic practice. The concept is brilliant, but how does one implement it in the classroom? It is a big challenge for PG teachers to deliver this topic and integrate the concepts in a simple yet in-depth manner. In this issue, we have a policy paper by Parekh et al. on evolving an integrated curriculum in PG homoeopathic education in the subject of advanced teachings in fundamentals of homoeopathy. The paper provides an elaborate road map for implementing the process of aligning homoeopathic medical education to a competency-based approach that is defining the curriculum.[14]

Case-based learning forms the bedrock of teaching in medicine. It helps to deliver the concepts and experiences to the students in a structured manner. In this issue, we have an evidenced-based case series demonstrating the utility of different case taking skills to be applied while treating uncooperative/ non communicative patients in homoeopathic clinical practice[15] and a case report demonstrating the effectiveness of individualised homoeopathic medicines in a case of palmar dermatitis.[16]

The process of book review enhances and allows the development of critical thinking amongst the readers; it is a good tool to help students develop the skills required for critical unbiased thinking. In this issue, we have an interesting review of ‘Perceiving the Mind in Homoeopathic Practice’ by Thakar.[17]

In his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela describes how education intertwined the different events in his life. It is truly an inspirational book, wherein Mandela mentions:

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’

If homoeopathy must continue to flourish in the modern world, change must occur at the level of training of the younger generation. Homoeopathic education needs a complete rehaul. Refreshing, redrafting and reforming homoeopathic education are essential if homoeopathy is to evolve, survive and thrive.

References

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  3. . The place of homoeopathic medicine in postgraduate education for general practice. J R Coll Gen Pract. 1988;1;38:119-20.
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  4. . Reforms in Homoeopathy Education. . Homoeopathy for Everyone. 19 Available from: https://hpathy.com/homeopathy-papers/reforms-in-homoeopathy-education/ [Last accessed on 2022 Jul 26]
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  5. . Revitalizing homoeopathic medical education for the COVID-19 era: Integrating Hahnemannian thought, principles of medical education, and the core of the national educational policy, 2020. J Intgr Stand Homoeopathy. 2020;3:82-7.
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  6. . Advance teaching of fundamentals of homoeopathy (ATFH): Redefining competency-based approach. Int J High Dilut Res. 2022;21:1-3.
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  12. , , . Using multimedia for enhancing the observational skills of homoeopathic post-graduate students during case-taking. J Intgr Stand Homoeopathy. 2018;1:1-11.
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  13. . Utility of extended matching questions as an assessment tool in homoeopathic education. J Intgr Stand Homoeopathy. 2022;5:36-42.
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  14. , , . Evolving an integrated curriculum in post-graduate homoeopathic education: Advanced teachings in fundamentals of homoeopathy. J Intgr Stand Homoeopathy. 2022;5:43-7.
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  15. . Perceiving the uncooperative patient in homoeopathic clinical practice: A case series. J Intgr Stand Homoeopathy. 2022;5:48-54.
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  16. , . Management of Palmar Dermatitis through Homoeopathy: A case report. J Intgr Stand Homoeopathy. 2022;5:56-9.
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  17. . Perceiving the mind in homoeopathic practice: A book review. J Intgr Stand Homoeopathy. 2022;5:60-1.
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