Last Fall, NUHS added a specialty rotation in homeopathy to its naturopathic medicine (ND) clinical internship experience. ND interns can apply for the rotation, which entails one day per week of their clinic shift seeing patients under the supervision of a seasoned expert in homeopathic medicine.
In homeopathic medicine, a patient receives minute doses of a substance that in massive amounts would produce symptoms similar to the patient’s disease. It works by stimulating a natural healing response in the body.
“Homeopathy is a logical choice for our first specialty rotation, as there is a strong student interest in the topic. Also, homeopathic medicine is an area where expertise is built on mentored practice,” says Dr. Fraser Smith, assistant dean of naturopathic medicine at NUHS.
Currently, three interns spend one day each week with Francine Burke, DC, DNBHE. Dr. Burke is a chiropractic physician who graduated from National in 1987, and attended a two-year post-graduate program in homeopathic medicine offered by National almost two decades before it opened its current doctor of naturopathic medicine degree program. In addition to her diplomate in homeopathic medicine, she is certified by the National Board of Homeopathic Examiners, and is the past president of the Illinois Homeopathic Medicine Association.
“I work with each student individually in whichever area they need to develop most: whether it’s taking a homeopathic medical history, remedy selection or follow-up evaluation,” says Dr. Burke. ” It is very exciting for students to see first hand in a clinical setting, how well homeopathic medicine works – especially for patients who may not have seen results with other treatment modalities.”
For all ND students, the current NUHS curriculum in homeopathy includes four intensive courses. The specialty rotation builds on the knowledge previously learned in the classroom. Lakisha Brandon says of the homeopathic rotation: “The rotation has allowed me to understand the important role homeopathy can play in unveiling the underlying mental and emotional aspect of disease. Homeopathy takes these factors into account, in addition to physical symptoms, in a patient’s medical history and in remedy selection.”
In light of the homeopathic rotation’s success, Dr. Smith says that the naturopathic medicine program will most likely be adding more specialty rotations in the future: “We’re currently evaluating possible rotations in cardiology and other internal medicine specialties.”