“A homoeopathic physician in one who adds to his knowledge of medicine a special knowledge of homoeopathic therapeutics and observes the law of similars.”-A. I.
“The homoeopathic physician is one who prescribes the single remedy in the minimum done in potentized form, selected according to the law of similars.”
The superficial observer would not criticize either form of definition. The astonishing part of the first formula is expressed in the first part: “who adds to his knowledge of medicine.”
Of what does the knowledge consist? Is it what all tradition count as up-to-date use of drugs, such as cathartics, ointments, depressants, compound tablets, coal-tar products, crude drugs in general, etc.? Does it mean that the homoeopathic physician must know these so that he can have something to which to add the special knowledge of homoeopathic therapeutics in order to be a homoeopathic physician?
It would be supposed that the homoeopathic physician had abandoned the first to become a physician of an advanced and scientific order. It must be acknowledged that all of this knowledge of medicine, to which he is to add his homoeopathic, is traditional ignorance and absurdities. Now to this ignorance he is to add knowledge of homoeopathic therapeutics. Would it not be better and wiser to say that a homoeopathic physician is one who has abandoned traditional absurdities and adopted the science and philosophy of healing according to the Law of Similars? Men who depend upon the diagnosis, the laboratory findings, the pathology, the bacteriology, for selection of their remedies are expected to add to such knowledge (?) a special knowledge of homoeopathic therapeutics!
It has been our experience to meet a large number of these so-called homoeopathic physicians, but we have never met one who had added any knowledge of materia medica or the art of prescribing to his so-called general knowledge of medicine.
The astonishing part of the formula is that it frames into the definition just the part that prevents every man from becoming a homoeopathic physician. So long as he holds on to the traditional absurdities, even when called modern scientific medicine, so long as he is incapable of learning the true art of healing according to the Law of Similars. So long as he believes that these absurdities are valuable knowledge, so long he feels no need of going into real knowledge of homoeopathic therapeutics. It is not sin to know these absurdities so long as he realizes that they are such, but the formula calls them “knowledge of medicine.” It cannot refer to anatomy, physiology, chemistry, etc. because to these he does not add, as they are part of doctors’ rights and possessions.
If we look over the country and take note of the men who sail under this flag, and we ascertain their methods, it will be found that many of them scarcely differ from the allopath in the use of drugs and methods. The most of them believe in the Law of Similars, but are too ignorant of materia medica, of the use of repertory and of the philosophy, to practice Homoeopathy.
In their ignorance they use drugs in the same crude form as they were used for proving, whereas the sick man who has the corresponding symptoms is a thousand times more sensitive than was the prover. It is well to know that if these ignorant pretenders really administered a true homoeopathic remedy, they would intensify the illness in hand. I have known them to do this many times, and in their ignorance they would change for another remedy, instead of stopping the drug to permit the patient to make a quick recovery. I have met many of these crude physicians, and they have generally blamed the college which turned them out with only a crude knowledge of materia medica, no knowledge of how to use the repertory, and without any homoeopathic philosophy, although they had plenty of pathology, plenty of diagnosis. They saw ointments applied to the skin, in a very large skin clinic, by one of these physicians who professes to add to his stupid ignorance a knowledge of the law of cure.
Was not the adoption of this definition for the sole purpose of giving standing to men whose requirements were a knowledge of fads and traditional absurdities, and ignorance of Hahnemann’s ORGANON and the PURE MATERIA MEDICA? It is a question that must come to the mind of every thinking homoeopathic physician.
It is equally evident that the second definition, mentioned above as the description of a genuine homoeopathic physician, could find only a small minority in the American Institute to favor it, as we all know. It has often been asked why Homoeopathy grows so slowly. Is it not apparent that the reason is to be found in the sentiment that caused the adoption of this first definition of the homoeopathic physician, which so misrepresents the true followers of Homoeopathy? When such men are in the majority, what is there to be seen in their prescribing that would attract the attention of any suffering man? No wonder that the world is slow to accept Homoeopathy when the people see so little convincing proof of its usefulness. What better is it than the traditional medicine? How often do we hear our own faithful patients say: “If we could not find a genuine homoeopathic physician I would call an allopath?” These are the patrons that know the difference. The patron knows better than to trust a man who alternates remedies, gives compound tablets and tinctures. Yet the A. I. H. definition permits the fraudulent misrepresentation to pose as a genuine homoeopathic physician.