Homeopathy as a teaching example

3 May

I talk about homeopathy with my students, as an example of applying their rational thinking skills. I’ll write more extensively about how I integrate it into teaching over the summer (when marking has finished), but in the meantime a couple of things that have caught my eye.

FIrst, Ben Goldacre has just posted on his blog about UCH promoting a homeopathy course to their doctors.  I usually ask students if they think the NHS should pay for homeopathy, but asking if they should teach about it takes things to a whole new level.

Second, for the most part I shy away from using comedy in lectures, as I’ve suffered a few ‘tumbleweed’ moments during the past, but this example is too good to miss and after my lecture on homeopathy students seem to find it funny.

12 Responses to “Homeopathy as a teaching example”

  1. Dr. Nancy Malik May 4, 2012 at 4:20 pm #

    Homeopathy is a non-toxic system of western medical science originated in Germany by Dr. Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann (10 April 1755 Germany- 2 July 1843 France). He received his M.D. with honors in conventional medicine from University of Erlangen, Germany on 10 Aug 1779.

    • Teaching Rational Thinking May 4, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

      Indeed, although I’m sure we’d both agree that a medical degree from 1779 might not be the best basis for modern practice. I tend to focus students on the mechanics of homeopathy and the modern evidence base. I use http://www.britishhomeopathic.org/, but am always happy to hear about more reliable sources

      • Dr. Nancy Malik May 4, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

        You can refer to http://www.homeopathy-ich.org/ (International Council for Homeopathy) as it is a organisation of homeopathy at world level. So you can rely on that.

      • Teaching Rational Thinking May 5, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

        As you will have seen I’m interested in teaching my students to think rationally. Would you be able to example the rationale for http://www.homeopathy-ich.org/ . In comparison with other homeopathy organisations there seems to be very little data on their website. THe ECCH (which seems to be run by the same people as ICH) seems to have more study material on their website, and other UK-based organisations look, at face value, to be more reliable i.e. http://www.homeopathy-soh.org/ or http://www.homeopathy-soh.org/

        It is very important to me that my students have the most reliable sources of information, so I just wanted to double-check that http://www.homeopathy-ich.org/ is the best source to direct them to

  2. Dr. Nancy Malik May 5, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

    Ar far as educational material is concerned, ICH won’t be the best source. It’s better to check ECCH ( http://www.homeopathyeurope.org/ ), European Central Council of Homeopaths ( http://www.homeopathy-ecch.org/ ) and The Faculty of Homeopathy ( http://www.facultyofhomeopathy.org/ )

    • Teaching Rational Thinking May 5, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

      THank you, it is always nice to get guidance from an expert.

      On a separate note, could I ask for you guidance on a homeopathic point. Is there anything that you would recommend as malaria prophylaxis, for someone due to travel to India in six weeks time

      • Dr. Nancy Malik May 7, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

        Azardica Indica as a prophylaxis for malaria

      • Teaching Rational Thinking May 7, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

        Thank you. I can confidently say that I will pass on you advice to my students come the new semester


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