Homeopathic Polls

March 3, 2008 at 1:32 pm (Alternative Medicine, Bad Science, Homeopathy) (, , , , , , , , )

This page on homeopathy shows the results of a poll into homeopathic “education”. The poll gave a list of options as follows:

As a homeopath your education is: self taught; distance learning; 1 year regular; 2 year regular; 3 year regular; 4 year regular; 5+ year regular; not a homeopath.

The results make for interesting reading. Of the eight options, the most common response (at 27.5%) was “self-taught”. The second most common was 5+ years training (at 20.1%). Distance learning accounted for the education of 12.9% of the respondents. 9.7% responded by stating that they were “not a homeopath” and training for 1-4 years (“regular”) accounted for the remaining 29.7%. I’m not sure how many of the respondents are practising homeopaths, but I did wonder if any of the self-taught homeopaths were practising. I’m not sure I would put too much faith in the quality of distance-learning courses either. I mean, all sorts of people can obtain these distance-learning and correspondence-course qualifications can’t they? I haven’t covered the various types of homeopathic training in this post. There are, though (of course) BSc degrees in homeopathy. To find out more about a BSc in homeopathy, click here.

Can you imagine a doctor being allowed to practise if he or she were “self-taught” or had studied medicine via “distance learning”? Frightening. Yet, this is not an issue that seems to be raised often when discussing homeopathy. Perhaps it is because homeopathy is unquestionably safe. Yes, that must be it. You don’t need to worry about harm from homeopathy, because there are no side-effects. Well, another homeopathy poll on the hpathy site found that 50% of respondents believed homeopathic remedies had no side effects. 5.1% apparently believed that remedies did have side-effects and 44.9% believed that homeopathic remedies have side-effects “occasionally”.

Some disagreement there, but a nice 50/50 split between those homeopaths who believe that there are no side-effects and those that believe that (at least sometimes) the remedies can have side-effects. That homeopaths cannot agree on whether their remedies produce side-effects is perhaps unsurprising in light of the differences in training (not to mention the fact that their profession is based on a ~200 -year-old-book that is more religious tome than textbook).

12 Comments

  1. Dana Ullman said,

    Is this is such a “scientific” poll? How or why is it that skeptics of homeopathy use such bad science when it suits their needs, and yet, they insist upon the highest standards of scientific inquiry when the result shows any positive attribute to homeopathy or homeopaths?

    Let’s at least try to maintain a scientific attitude. OK?

  2. jdc said,

    Is this is such a “scientific” poll?

    Perhaps not. I found it interesting that there were people claiming to be self-taught homeopaths and others claiming to have been taught homeopathy via distance learning, though – so I decided to blog it. I also found it interesting that there was a 50/50 split on whether homeopathic “remedies” could have side-effects – but that’s hardly surprising given that, in homepathy, such things are merely a matter of belief.

    4/3/08 11:50am Edited to add: Here is another example of a Dana Ullman drive-by. As BSM asked in the comments thread on the Quackometer, can you

    GIVE ONE, YOU ONLY NEED ONE, INCONTROVERTIBLE EXAMPLE, WITH REFERENCES, OF HOMEOPATHY CURING A NON-SELF-LIMITING CONDITION.

  3. Mojo said,

    Interesting that in the “Notice for Skeptics and Trolls” on that forum, Manish Bhatia says “If you do not leave politely, you will be shown the door. The choice is yours!

    This forum is FOR homeopaths and homeopathy. If you are really that serious about homeopathy, go get enrolled in a 4 year course and then come back to discuss homeopathy.”

    Presumably he’s going to ask most of the homoeopaths on there to leave as well.

  4. mugsandmoney said,

    It’s part of the delusional mindset which homeopaths foster and revel in.

    Hahnemann said – 200 years ago – that a homeopathic remedy will have no effect at all unless its indications exactly match the patients symptoms; they have not moved on from this point.

    There is no risk that any homeopath can misdiagnose or misprescribe. Homeopaths, when they give symptom-based treatment, are treating the cause of disease in a more fundamental way than any GP or hospital doctor can ever hope to. There is no need for rigorous training or regulation of homeopaths because they can never have any adverse effect on a patient. And so on.

  5. pv said,

    Dullman wrote:

    Let’s at least try to maintain a scientific attitude. OK?

    That’s a bit rich coming from a professional practitioner of terminal inexactitudes, who preaches and earns his living from anti-science.

    And might I request yet again that Dullman gives his attention to the following which he has studiously and pointedly ignored:

    GIVE ONE, YOU ONLY NEED ONE, INCONTROVERTIBLE EXAMPLE, WITH REFERENCES, OF HOMEOPATHY CURING A NON-SELF-LIMITING CONDITION.

    Surely it can’t be that difficult after 200 years of unparalleled medical success and meticulous record keeping! Names and cases with incontrovertible evidence and impeccable references of unimpeachable integrity should be dropping off the tip of Dullman’s pen like rain. There should be hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of them. Books full by the truck load. But we only want one incontrovertible case.
    And he demands a scientific attitude from others! That man is too funny.

  6. jdc325 said,

    Thanks for the comments everyone.

    Dana – would you like to answer the question that PV and BSM have asked?

  7. Holistic Junction said,

    Dana Ullman is by far, one of the most intelligent sources of information regarding homeopathy; and I believe he is accurate in stating what he has here. I believe that many “skeptics” are always looking for bad science to suit individual perspectives and opinions. My son used an OTC homeopathic treatment for acne and it worked incredible wonders where traditional and other cosmetic medicines could not. Interesting blog, thanks for sharing.

  8. HJ said,

    I tried a homeopathic remedy for sleeplessness the other day and it didn’t do anything – who’s anecdote is worth more? Your son’s, or mine?

  9. Nash said,

    HJ

    The explanation is simple as any homeopath will tell you. The remedy has to be administered by a trained homeopath. If I drop the water on the pill and give it to you, then it won’t work, if a “trained” homeopath drops the water on the pill and gives it to you, then it will work.

    I was told this in January by a homeopath. This homeopath also told me last year that homeopathy won’t work for me because I don’t believe in it, but homeopathy is not a form of faith healing!

  10. Holistic Junction said,

    Homeopathy, just like conventional medicine does not work overnight and may take time to get into an individual’s sytem to show results. While sleeplessness does pose a problem, acne can have a dramatic and negative emotional impact on teenagers, as well as leaving physical scars for a lifetime; however, in lieu of your response, HJ – i’d like to add that conventional medicine nearly killed me. It also took the life of my father.

    My personal opinion is that there is very little trust left in the conventional medicine industry. I will gladly give other health modalities like homeopathy a try before I exchange my wellbeing for the potentially lethal side effects of mainstream pharmaceuticals.

    Professionally trained and educated homeopathic physicians must have received extensive education from an accredited school or university; this in addition to prerequisite education equivalent to a bachelor’s degree. There are many so-called “homeopathic practitioners” who practice without any credentials. This is why it is so important that patients examine credentials, education, and/or certification (and testimonials) prior to seeking health advice from a homeopathic provider.

  11. jdc325 said,

    “My personal opinion is that there is very little trust left in the conventional medicine industry.”
    This may well be true given the amount of time and effort that homeopaths and nutritionists have been willing to expend ‘blackening the name’ of conventional medicine. Not to mention the anti-vaccination lobby groups.

    If I am in an accident, I want to go to A&E/Casualty – not a homeopath or a naturopathic doctor. If I am struck down with some disease caused by bacteria, I want antibiotics – not magic water or sugar pills. I don’t want energy medicine – I want medicine that actually exists. Conventional medicine saves lives. Anyone who tells you that homeopathy can do likewise is either deluded or a fraud.

  12. nash said,

    HJ

    I am an ‘Holistic Electrician’. After I have rewired your house using energy lines which I draw out on your walls with brass gaussing rods, the drugs are then removed from the electricity. Because you no longer have drugged electricity the amount of charge you need to draw down to run your computer is only a fraction of what you use now. Also your appliances won’t ever malfunction. You don’t need wires, just faith in the holistic energy.

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