(Contributed by Dr. Jessica Levy)
This past weekend I graduated from the Northwestern Academy of Homeopathy. This is a four year program dedicated towards treating humans with classical homeopathy. I am a member of the fifth class to graduate from this program.
My homeopathic studies began in 2002 with the Veterinary Homeopathy course taught by Dr. Richard Pitcairn, a veterinarian who also has a PhD in immunology. It's interesting how many homeopaths have a background in immunology. I had come across many mentions of homeopathy throughout the years, and had always thought it sounded too far out to be applicable to my practice. Then one day I saw the ad for the veterinary homeopathy course, and something shifted in my brain and I thought, "I've got to take this course!" I registered two weeks before it started and flew out to Eugene, Oregon, for something I really knew nothing about.
Needless to say, it blew my mind. Once I graduated from that year-long course, I felt frequently stumped while trying to integrate homeopathic philosophy into the conventional practice I was working in at the time. Then suddenly the information about the Northwestern Academy of Homeopathy jumped out at me in the same fashion, and I thought, "I've got to take this course!" Again, I registered within two weeks of starting classes.
I am so glad I've had this training, and feel privileged to have been a part of this educational program. The first two years were largely didactic, mostly lectures and discussions with the opportunity to observe cases taken by the instructors, who had all been practicing for over 20 years. The last two years were student clinic years, during which the instructors opened their private practice for our use and taught us how to practice homeopathy in a real life setting.
This experience was priceless. It was like being back in vet school, where you are responsible for animals and clients in your care, but you have a senior clinician assisting you and making sure you don't make any huge mistakes, while guiding you through the diagnostic and treatment processes.
This allows me to practice homeopathy with much greater confidence than I would have otherwise. In 2005 I attended the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy annual conference, and met veterinarians with a wide range of experiences and practices. It was gratifying to see the advantages that the education I've had has granted me.
I graduated in a class of 24. The ceremony was held at the Jewish Community Center on Cedar Lake Road in Minneapolis. There were over 300 people who came to cheer us on as we stepped into the world of professional classical homeopathy. My husband, who is a devout adherent of conventional medicine, was amazed at the attendance and at the grace and dignity of the proceedings. He was quite impressed!
I definitely had reservations when I started this program, and it was not easy for me, as a time commitment and as a personal commitment as well. It has completely changed the way I practice medicine, and encouraged me to open my own hospital so that I could practice as I see fit, focusing on promoting true health and well-being for my patients.