Homeopathy Book Reviews

Plain Doctoring by Richard Moskowitz, MD

Written by David A. Johnson

David Johnson reviews Plain Doctoring by Richard Moskowitz. Dr. Moskowitz is a renowned homeopathic physician who has worked extensively in pediatrics.

Plain Doctoring by Richard Moskowitz, MDPaperback: 408 pages

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (June 21, 2013)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1482338017

ISBN-13: 978-1482338010

Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.9 x 8.9 inches

List price $25 US


Looking for a gift for your favorite homeopath? Plain Doctoring is an absorbing read by an allopathically trained physician who, through circumstance and fate, came to use homeopathy in family medicine and obstetrics. It is a collection of Richard Moskowitz’ favorite writing spanning 30 years of homeopathic practice, and he shares hard-earned wisdom gained through the crucible of an ever-questioning conscience.

The book begins with stories of Moskowitz’ early years in practice, and describes teachers who, whether “lay” or professional, helped clarify his path in medicine. “Why I Became a Homeopath” recalls how his intuitive distrust of invasive medical practices was often at odds with the status quo. Ultimately his disillusionment was resolved by following the Hippocratic oath, “First, do no harm”, and by participating in a home birth. His experience with this and many other home births emphasized the importance of a doctor/patient team, and this became a central tenet in his working with patients.

“Writings on Midwifery” includes practical excerpts re: homeopathic self-care from “Homeopathic Medicines for Pregnancy and Childbirth”. Perhaps his philosophy behind writing this section says it best: ‘… self-healing is the very heart of what health care is all about, and self-care provides the proper model for client-professional relationships … the effectiveness of homeopathy in treatment also helps encourage more humanistic and patient-centered models for thinking about the healing process in general.’

What better source to understand remedies than someone who’s used them for decades? Moskowitz covers twenty-five of the most common remedies used in pregnancy and childbirth, and whenever possible, he illustrates the descriptions with vignettes from his own experience. He correctly points out how ‘knowledge of the remedies is built to a great extent on the distinctive features of real people.’ Accordingly, his honed perceptions allow him to clearly articulate the differences between “pregnancy” remedies, and he provides excellent descriptions distinguishing cimicifuga and caulophyllum in dysfunctional labor.

In the next section, some of the saddest and most compelling stories in the book are related to children who have sustained acute and chronic injuries from vaccines. It’s difficult to do justice to these 100 pages, because Moskowitz presents numerous questions about vaccination, challenging almost every possible argument by which they’ve been justified. Whether one considers immunological, epidemiological, socio-cultural, medico-legal, ethical, humanitarian, or economical factors, he outlines convincing reasons why the relative “sanctification” of vaccines, higher than that of any other medicine or therapy, begs for much, much greater scrutiny and accountability.

Next, Moskowitz includes a series of articles written in the journal Resonance where he describes the philosophy of homeopathy in modern and grounded language. The style and progression is such that a general reader can understand it, and a seasoned practitioner will appreciate the elegance of its simplicity.

In the following section, Moskowitz tackles the thorny issue of “fundamentalism” vs. “innovation” within the profession. Reminding readers that ‘Hahnemann the fundamentalist was also our greatest and boldest innovator’, he demonstrates how both poles of the spectrum are ‘equally important if not inseparable parts of the legacy Hahnemann left us, each needing the other. . . failing to honor them will indeed undermine the elegant system and incomparable method we all hold dear.’

“For Homeopathy: A Practicing Physician’s Perspective” is an excellent response to a skeptic, answering the perennial accusations leveled at homeopathy since its inception. Here again Moskowitz meets the questions head on, comparing the philosophical approaches of allopathic and homeopathic medicine relative to health and disease. He writes: ‘I have come to realize that the highest goal of medicinal treatment, whether homeopathic or otherwise, is precisely to assist and optimize it (self-healing), by doing everything to promote healing in its most global sense, not just correct abnormalities, and by cultivating a deeper and thorough knowledge of our patients, not ignoring, circumventing, or overriding what they have to teach us’.

In the concluding chapters Moskowitz expands on three deceptively profound principles: 1. Healing Implies Wholeness, 2. All Healing is Self-Healing, and 3. Healing Applies Only to Individuals. He explores the meaning and limitations of “diagnosis”, and in a final sobering chapter, reviews and critiques the current state of conventional medicine.

To read Plain Doctoring is to feel good about the homeopathic profession, and to feel good that Richard Moskowitz is part of it. Ever reflecting and perfecting his approach to healing, he’s set a standard of humility and ethics while ushering in a new generation of homeopaths. His insights in Plain Doctoring were earned through decades of practice, and by sharing his experience he’s making the path a little easier for those of us following him.

About the author

David A. Johnson

David Johnson, CCH, RSHom(NA) is a homeopath residing in the southern Wisconsin area of the US. He is the author of “Radiance, Resonance and Healing: The Homeopathic Periodic Table” (Emryss Publishing) which is based on his 20 years of experience of matching the theoretical schema of Series and Stages with the words of clients. His email is [email protected]

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