Suzi, Tara and Annemarie recently returned from a short trip to India.
We were invited to visit Dr Farouk Master’s clinic in Mumbai (Bombay), to observe the day to day running of a homeopathic clinic, prescribing and treatment Indian style. He has a second clinic in Poona, which Suzi ands Annemarie got the chance to visit. It is a state of the art hospital where he receives referrals from other consultants.
In Mumbai, the first observation I made was seeing how many people you can fit into a small room! The patient, the patient’s family, the homeopath taking the case, the student homeopaths, interested homeopaths from aboard (us) and a cat for swinging! It appeared that everyone was talking at the same time and everyone was being heard at the same time. A little overwhelming for someone who was used to the one to one approach!
The hours of opening were 10.30am- 1.30am and again at 5.30pm- 8.30pm everyday. There are no appointments made and all patients are seen, so clinic may finish a good hour after closing time! In between clinic hours, Dr. Master may travel many miles by train to visit patients who were unable to make it to his clinic. He would perform this round trip and be back in time for evening clinic. Quite amazing and exhausting
Homoeopathic training in Mumbai takes over five years where both medical and homeopathic training given. The last year is a housemanship in an established practise. There are about twenty homoeopaths attached to this clinic, with usually four or five homeopaths on duty, at any one time.
The process by which the case is taken is slightly different to the way we are trained in Ireland. Several people are involved in the taking of the case, sort of a ‘human conveyor belt’ process.
Firstly, the consultation takes place were a pre-printed consultation booklet is filled out by the homeopath with the patient. The homeopath then kindly allowed us to ask any questions we needed to.
A medical examination is then performed, if necessary. And again, we were involved in this examination and were allowed to check pulse, listen to heart beat and lung capacity and take blood pressure. It was a little too hands on for me when someone presented with an abscess on the other cheek, (not the one for kissing!)
The patient then waits for Dr. Master to review the case. Only Dr. Master prescribes remedies. The patient is then brought back into the consultation room with the homeopath who took the case. Dr Master reads over the case and may ask a few more questions. The rubrics are called out by Dr Master which another homeopath jots down.
These are passed to another homeopath who will enter them into a computer repertory. The remedy is then prescribed, administered and payment received. All at the same time!
Dr Master knowledge of the Materia Medica, were all remedies are listed, is astounding and key to allowing this system of clinic to work so well.
We observed a system of giving the remedy called the five-cup-method, which is pioneered by Dr. Master. This is similar to the plussing method that we use in our own drop in clinic. The remedy is taken in a liquid dose and shaken before each dose, to allow a more gentle action.
It was wonderful to observe the differences and similarities in the methods of prescribing homeopathy at this clinic.