OPPORTUNITIES FOR INSTRUCTING PATIENTS IN HOMOEOPATHY



All they read and hear is accepted as “gospel” they are so intelligent as to be the most gullible people in the world! without the realization that the “gospel” of today is the heresy of tomorrow (except homoeopathy, which has always been heresy). It may be ones luck-whether good or bad, it is not me to say-to find the eldest son ill with pneumonia. As soon as one has announced ones diagnosis both parents want to know whether you are going to use sulfathiazole or some one of the others of the sulfa drugs. They also want to know what type of pneumococcus is present and, if it is type three, they think you had better use the appropriate serum too.

Well, here is the best opportunity one will ever have to “sell a bill of goods,” but one must talk fast and convincingly to do it. These people can not be fooled by anything less than “modern science.” One must not only explain homoeopathy adequately, but also show, statistically, that it is better than anything “modern science” has to offer. Here, the statistics compiled by the late Dr. E. Rodney Fiske of New York, and published in the October, 1928, number of the Journal of the American Institute of Homoeopathy, do much to prove to superiority of the homoeopathic treatment of pneumonia. Those figures represent ones heavy artillery. If the parents are still unconvinced and demand “modern treatment,” ones only recourse, as a homoeopath, is to refuse the case.

Patients suffering from chronic ailments represent a different problem. Having been the rounds without result they are naturally somewhat doubtful as to any physicians ability to help them. With these patients it is my firm belief that a frank approach to homoeopathy at the first visit is a necessity to insure a mutual understanding and to gain the sufferers cooperation. The very fact that other types of treatment have been unsuccessful lays the foundation for an acceptance of homoeopathy and one should take full advantage of the opportunity it offers for a rather detailed explanation of the Law of Cure.

True, some of the chronically ill are hard to convince, but that is all the more reason to be frank. Indeed, one must give such a patient the chance to refuse to have anything to do with homoeopathy, though not, of course, until he knows what it is he is refusing. And some of them will refuse to be treated according to your method, perhaps because your explanation lacks the necessary turn of phrase to make it convincing.

I well recall a recent patient, referred by one of my “fans,” who suffered from eczema. Of course he had had the usual local treatments and had been “cured” about four years before by a country doctor now deceased. This man was a “doubting Thomas,” if ever there was one, and, in spite of my ardent advocacy of the homoeopathic technique, I could sense that I was not “getting to first base.” While I was carefully explaining that skin symptoms were only a part of the outward manifestation of some deep-seated constitutional disturbance, he suddenly interrupted me to ask:.

“You mean I have an inward disease, Doctor?”.

“Yes,” I replied, “you took the words right out of my mouth”.

“Well, thats what I think, Doc. I told Dr. B. that was what the trouble was; but he said no, that it was just a skin disease”.

“You were right, Mr. K, and, though he was a good doctor, Dr. B. was wrong”.

“All right, Doc; Ill let you take my case”.

So in this instance a choice of words saved the day for me.

The chief point to be stressed in concluding this paper is that a thorough knowledge of homoeopathic principles and practice is an essential requisite in the Hahnemannians armamentarium. Without it he is helpless, not only to cure his patients, but also to answer the question, “Doctor, just what is homoeopathy?”.

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.