The History and Importance of Homeopathy

Before getting into the specifics of a homeopath's schooling, it's important to understand that those who practice Homeopathy are a diverse group of qualified health professionals. There is also a tiny but active number of dedicated unlicensed Homeopathic practitioners.

Some physicians specialize in Homeopathy and give Homeopathic medications to 75-100 percent of their patients, while others have not learned the complex system of Homeopathy and only prescribe these natural medicines to a tiny number of their patients. These practitioners are usually only familiar with a restricted number of Homeopathic remedies and only use them for acute, rather than chronic, diseases.

Medical doctors are the health professionals who specialize in homeopathy the most in the Western world. In Europe, where homeopathy is one of the most popular alternative medicines, it is estimated that over 30% of French physicians and 20% of German physicians prescribe homeopathic medicines (Fisher and Ward, 1994), and over 40% of British physicians refer patients to homeopathic doctors (Wharton and Lewith, 1986), and 45% of Dutch physicians believe Homeopathic medicines are effective (Wharton and Lewith, 1986). (Kleijnen, Knipschild and Riet, 1991). These large figures suggest that homeopathy may no longer be considered "alternative medicine" in Europe.

Naturopathic physicians, chiropractors, acupuncturists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurses are among the other licensed professionals in the United States who specialize in Homeopathy. Homeopathic remedies are also used by hundreds of veterinarians and dentists for a big number of their patients.

Because Homeopathy is such an important element of naturopathic education, many naturopathic doctors choose to specialize in it. A distinct organization of naturopathic homeopaths exists (The Homeopathic Academy of Naturopathic Physicians).