DO YOU REPERTORIZE


A repertory is an index of symptoms arranged systematically. They can be arranged alphabetically, or schematically, according to the parts of the body, or arranged according to certain guiding principles. The purpose of a repertory is as a reference and guide in looking up a particular symptoms leading to a similimum, or that may make a distinction between two or more remedies in a given case.


The title of the paper is “Do You Repertorize?” and I think I can give the answer which is that some of you do repertorize and some of you do not. This rather rambling discourse which I am about to give is pointed to those who do not.

A repertory is an index of symptoms arranged systematically. They can be arranged alphabetically, or schematically, according to the parts of the body, or arranged according to certain guiding principles. The purpose of a repertory is as a reference and guide in looking up a particular symptoms leading to a similimum, or that may make a distinction between two or more remedies in a given case.

Another purpose is for careful study of all symptoms in a chronic case. It is not meant for use in cases with clear indications for the similimum, because in those cases close questioning may confuse the issue. I am referring to the average acute condition which we see all the time in run – of – the -mill cases. Those cases very seldom have to be repertorized nor should they be repertorized.

If you sit down and question and question, and listen and listen, you will obtain a set of symptoms in a very simple acute case that will be so confusing that you wont hit the remedy; and, since nature gets them well anyway, you have wasted your time and your patients money. So, in a general way, in acute cases a repertory is not necessary, although it can be used as a quick reference to verify leading symptoms in an acute case, or to give leading indications of a remedy, or to differentiate between one, two, or three remedies that appear to have a bearing on the particular acute case.

In chronic case, where there are many symptoms, and where the symptoms are very confused, and where several remedies appear to be indicated, I believe a repertory is absolutely necessary. I think that there are very few homoeopaths, no matter how skilled and how well – versed in the basic principles of this art, who can take a complicated chronic case and, at the end of the time say.

“That is the remedy.” There may be a few who can do it and I should like to meet them and learn how it is done. These chronic cases show so many inherited tendencies, and many of them have been marred by mismanagement and overeager prescribing – even homoeopathic prescribing in a chronic case can complicate itself – that the final task of reaching the similimum is very difficult.

We must have a means of eliminating and of reaching the point where one or two remedies clearly stand out as suitable and appropriate to the particular individual who is ill.

There are several different types of repertory. There is a repertory based on general and particular symptoms, such as Kent, and Lippe, and Lee.

Another class of repertory is based on the totality of symptoms -an example of that is Boenninghausens Therapeutic Pocket Book – totality of symptoms as to particular points: the location or locations of the complaint, the sensations, or complaints, the conditions of aggravation as to time, and circumstance; of amelioration, as to time and circumstance; and concomitants.

Then there are what we call the concordance repertories, in which symptoms as developed by the provings, and clinically have been broken into parts and so listed, and these repertories are very excellent for reference, but not so good where you have to work a remedy.

Examples of a concordance repertory are: Knerrs Repertory to Herings Guiding Symptoms, Allens Symptom Register, Boenninghausens Repertory of the Antisporics, and Gentrys Concordance, a massive work in ten volumes.

The a fourth class of repertory consists of what we call clinical repertories, which cover the whole or a part of the body, for instance, Lee and and Clark, on Cough and Expectoration; that is a clinical repertory and covers just those particular manifestations of illness, cough and expectoration. It is very excellent as a reference. Then there is Bell, on Diarrhoea, which is, without is without doubt, an extremely useful repertory for a particular type of diseased state; and Morgans volume on urinary disorders; and Lutzes Neuralgias.

Then there are the card system types of repertory of which Fields Card Repertory is a leading example, Dr. Marcos Jimenez, formerly of Monterrey, Mexico, has devised one which he demonstrated at the convention in Pasadena. The spindle type of repertory falls into this classification. e.g. Farleys Punch Card Repertory.

There are certain repertories and devoted to disease states or parts of the body; for instance, Sensations As If, by Holcombe by Dr. Roberts, and by the late Dr. James Ward; Sides of the Body compiled by Boenninghausen, and the Illustrated Repertory, by Gray, which illustrates the directions of pains, and it could be very useful in certain types of cases.

Allan D. Sutherland
Dr. Sutherland graduated from the Hahnemann Medical College in Philadelphia and was editor of the Homeopathic Recorder and the Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy.
Allan D. Sutherland was born in Northfield, Vermont in 1897, delivered by the local homeopathic physician. The son of a Canadian Episcopalian minister, his father had arrived there to lead the local parish five years earlier and met his mother, who was the daughter of the president of the University of Norwich. Four years after Allan’s birth, ministerial work lead the family first to North Carolina and then to Connecticut a few years afterward.
Starting in 1920, Sutherland began his premedical studies and a year later, he began his medical education at Hahnemann Medical School in Philadelphia.
Sutherland graduated in 1925 and went on to intern at both Children’s Homeopathic Hospital and St. Luke’s Homeopathic Hospital. He then was appointed the chief resident at Children’s. With the conclusion of his residency and 2 years of clinical experience under his belt, Sutherland opened his own practice in Philadelphia while retaining a position at Children’s in the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department.
In 1928, Sutherland decided to set up practice in Brattleboro.