Homeopathy is a fast-growing profession. Qualification as a Homeopath enables you to practise (usually on a self-employed basis), using this effective system of medicine to help your clients.
Homeopathy has been available in many parts of the world for up to 200 years, since its origination by Samuel Hahnemann in Germany in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The late 20th century has seen an extraordinary increase in its popularity.
Homeopathy is a complete system of medicine, although many of our patients also use their GPs. The 24-hour care available in the NHS in not yet feasible for professional Homeopathy, without state support, but Homeopaths work with the same range of patients as your local GP and hospital.
Professional Homeopaths work in Homeopathic clinics, on their own and in clinics including other alternative/complementary therapists. A small but growing number have begun to work in GP surgeries, although most are in private practice. Conventionally-trained doctors who have undertaken further study of Homeopathy also practise in the NHS, largely in the Homeopathic hospitals. All Homeopaths registered with the Society of Homeopaths practise according to a Code of Ethics and Practice.
Homeopaths are at a very exciting stage in the development of the profession. We are breaking new ground as we gain greater public recognition, establish effective professional procedures and structures, form good relationships with other systems of health care, and develop an appropriate professional education. Do you have the energy and commitment to be part of this dynamic process?
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF
1. What makes me want to be a Homeopath?
It's good to know why you're embarking on a Homeopathic education. ItÕs fascinating and exciting Ð and also takes time, money and dedication.
2. Have I got the time and dedication?
Studying takes three to four years (see below) and in common with other professional courses is not cheap. You will be getting a great deal of input from experts, but you must also be prepared to devote time to studying, and, in later stages of the course, seeing patients. The time needed varies from individual to individual and from course to course, but as a guide, the requirement is roughly equivalent to that of an Open University course, at about 15 hours per week. After successful completion of your course, you can apply for registration with the Society of Homeopaths following a minimum of one year in practice.
3. What will it cost and how will I pay?
Each course provider sets, and can let you know, the fees for their own course(s). If you undertake a degree course, you may be able to get part of your fees paid and receive a small grant. You will be responsible for the fees on all other courses. Books, travel and perhaps accommodation (depending on where you choose to study), remedies and clinical supervision (where not included in fees) are among the other aspects for which you need to budget. A few students have managed to obtain small grants from charitable trusts. Career Development Loans are available through banks.
The Society of Homeopaths Trust Co Ltd is a charity which offers limited bursaries to Society student members after the first year of training.
4. Do I know what I'm getting into?
You are strongly advised to have received Homeopathic treatment from a professional Homeopath, so that you understand what this system of medicine entails and have some empathy with the patient's perspective. It might also be helpful to attend an introductory course in Homeopathy, offered by many Homeopaths around the country (check your local adult education providers or look out for posters).
5. Have I got the support of friends and/or family?
Part-time courses mostly meet at weekends. Whenever your course attendance time is, you will not be available for your family and friends in the way they may have grown to expect Ð you will have to spend a good deal of time studying. Without support, and a willingness on the part of those you are closest to, it could be hard-going.
6. Do I want to be self-employed?
At the end of the course, you will be entering the market-place as a professional Homeopath. Almost every professional Homeopath is self-employed, implying a potentially unpredictable income and the need for accounts to be maintained and annual tax returns submitted. It also means you have to set realistic charges and make sure you get paid!
7. Do I have the skills needed?
Study skills are essential. You may want to undertake a prior course (eg preparation for higher education offered at Further Education colleges) if it is a long time since you were in education. Self-motivation is another crucial requirement. Medical sciences are a major component of courses; if you have no prior knowledge of human biology, check with your chosen course provider whether you need to do some prior studying. But most important of all are general 'life skills', a level of maturity is needed, and this is rarely an appropriate professional education for anyone who has just left school.