THE CLINICIANS PROBLEMS


Unquestionably this widespread health propaganda campaign is not unmixed with grave danger to the public. Putting aside the old- fashioned scare headlines in health articles, written to promote the sale of all manner of worthless nostrums, a vast amount of pathological misinformation is being assimilated by the innocent and ignorant seekers of knowledge.


As believers in the art of prescribing homoeopathically for the sick it may be interesting to us all to consider briefly a few of the many problems which we as homoeopaths daily encounter in our work. One occasion of discouragement, even dismay to some of our immature but enthusiastic prescribers, lies in the fact that times arise when the most conscientious and orthodox matching of drug and disease fails to produce results. To stand by calmly and see such cases seek and obtain relief from measures other than homoeopathic, is disconcerting to say the least. When, however, we better understand that a variety of points more or less obscure often enter into the trying situations, our pride is somewhat restored.

I will mention one of these factors even at the risk of being reminded that a “poor workman always finds fault with his tools.” I refer to the fact that our materia medica is profusely studded with gaps so to speak, serious gaps that have to do with inadequate provings as well as no provings. After thirty years experience the marvel to me is still present, that we achieve the high ratio of success that statistically belongs to us, carrying even this one handicap. Another problem presents itself when patient and doctor hold different opinions as to what constitutes a cure of some given condition.

This problem sometimes narrows itself down to a toss-up of whether it is more expedient to relieve pain, hold the patient, and possibly postpone forever any eventful cure or to disregard immediate and pressing discomfort in an effort to secure effective and permanent removal of the same later as the case scientifically unwinds. This problem calls for expert management, the chief phase of importance in its solution being to win the confidence of the patient.

A prescriber who is incapable to inspiring this because, for one thing, he prefers to keep his plans and methods on a high plane of inaccessibility as far as the patients comprehension goes, in other words the man who deems it the patients part to take his medicine and ask to questions, will often be disappointed in results. It is well to remember right here that a patient afflicted with a chronic disease, who today agrees to be treated homoeopathically for his troubles, needs first a little re-educating, for the average individual has absorbed a lot of information which, as Josh Billings would say, “aint so.”

Indeed a whole paper might be written on this new relation between doctor and patient due to the trend of the times. Intelligent people are seeking first hand directions as to the best manner of running their physical machines. They are beginning to appreciate the wisdom of keeping it in repair. Expert advice here is soaring in price, while popular health admonitions crowd our magazines and papers. The noncommittal physician should recognize the situation and with no compromise of professional dignity meet the problem diplomatically.

Unquestionably this widespread health propaganda campaign is not unmixed with grave danger to the public. Putting aside the old- fashioned scare headlines in health articles, written to promote the sale of all manner of worthless nostrums, a vast amount of pathological misinformation is being assimilated by the innocent and ignorant seekers of knowledge. An accredited psychologist will indeed tell you tales of the bugaboos he snares from the subconscious of these victims.

Connected with this problem, in fact growing out of the same stem, is the popular modern mania for publicity, an excellent safe-guard against many ills undoubtedly but, once more, if pushed to the extreme, a propensity that readily becomes in uncomfortable not to say dangerous element for us to combat. The slogan, “no secret nostrums,” “a clear label on every bottle” of alleged medicine, such of course receives our support. It is when a prospective patient asks of us: “What am I taking, doctor?” “What am I to expect from this prescription?” that the incognito in our therapeutics bobs up– a question.

Philip Krichbaum