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I was delighted to see an article in the JRSM on homeopathy,1 but my pleasure soon turned to dismay when the terms ‘quackery’ and ‘quacks’ appeared no less than eight times on the first page. No prejudice or bias here then! The author's hostility and frustration could be clearly felt through the rambling and bitter prose.
It is a puzzle why a proportion of one's colleagues become so very angry when the subject of complementary medicine is raised. Practitioners of complementary medicine, including homeopathy, are among the mildest mannered and most well meaning of individuals, who have only their patients' best interests at heart.
The idea that a doctor would go into homeopathy ‘for the money’ is ludicrous—there's precious little of that in it. What draws so many of our colleagues and their patients is disenchantment with the harshness and side effects of modern therapeutics. Homeopathy and other gentle complementary therapies are both effective and free of those side effects that so plague conventional medicine, with its mechanistic approach to human illness. Since we are all part of a caring profession, why should such an approach be so distressing to so many in the medical establishment?
The wiser heads among us realise that all forms of therapeutics have their place and that we should be grateful for the diversity of approach that so adds to the interest of the medical world. Homeopathy copes well with those awkward illnesses (e.g. skin conditions, depression and asthma) for which conventional medicine has few answers, and vice versa. More tolerance and understanding would be a good thing.
Competing interests DH is a Licensed Associate of the Faculty of Homeopathy and is able to practice homeopathy in relation to dentistry.