Being Patient Centered is Part of the Job

Written by Alan V. Schmukler


Long before I was a homeopath, I taught communication skills, frequently counseling couples who had trouble in their marriage. I would introduce them to the concepts of empathic listening and assertive, rather than aggressive, messages. Before long, I noticed that women in general, “got it” much faster than men.  They grasped more easily the concept of empathy. I was reminded of this recently when reading the results of a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.1

The study found that hospitalized elderly patients who were treated by female doctors, were significantly less likely to die within 30 days of admission, or to be readmitted within 30 days of discharge. The study sampled over a million people who were tracked over four years. The researchers concluded that if male doctors managed the same success as women doctors, there would be 32,000 fewer deaths each year among Medicare patients alone. They noted that female doctors provided more “patient-centered communication”, a term coined by psychologist Carl Rogers for listening with empathy, rather than judgmentally.  Allopaths are essentially looking for diagnoses, and regularly ignore information that doesn’t serve that end.  That often includes emotional messages from the patient and other information deemed irrelevant.    

One particular group in society that is especially empathic, are homeopaths, both women and men. Listening non-judgmentally is an intrinsic part of the job.  It’s the approach that allows patients to feel safe and share the strange, rare and peculiar symptoms that we need to solve the case. Those aspects of a person that might evoke judgment from most people, are prized by homeopaths.  Being patient-centered is the ONLY way to do this work.

Over the years I’ve met many homeopaths, and had the opportunity to watch a number of them work. The one thing they did in common was this: the moment the patient began speaking, they transformed themselves. They leaned forward, and entered a relaxed state of openness and caring.  In the end, a deeper connection was formed with the patient. I’ve never tired of seeing that — and doing that.

Happy New Year!

  1. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/12/21/female-doctors-survival-rate_n_13765008.html

In this Issue:

Interview –Cilla Whatcott

Homeopath, homeoprophylaxis educator, author and activist Cilla Whatcott is interviewed by Brenda Goldstein. Cilla Whatcott co-founded Free and Healthy Children International and founded Worldwide Choice to give parents an alternative to toxic vaccines.


TIDBITS – Elaine Lewis

Homeopathic Facial Analysis  – Louise Barton and Ellen Kire

Death – The Final Frontier – Declan Hammond

My Son the Homeopath  – Francis Treuherz

Keynotes of Important Remedies in UTI  – Robert Medhurst

QUIZ – Solve this case of recent renal failure – Dr. AmarsinhaNikam

Importance of Detailed Inquiry- SRP Remedies – Dr. Rajan Sankaran

What Plagues Homeopathy in Bangladesh?  – Dr. Salma Afroz

Compound Remedies – Dr. Rajan Sankaran

The meaning of Carcinosin Rubrics – Dr. Sanjay Jadhav

The Main Issues of Cinchona – Dr. Rajan Sankaran

Natrium Carbonicum – Dr. Bhanu Sharma 

TIPS & SECRETS – Alan V. Schmukler


Fibroid in a woman of 55  -Dr. Girish Gupta

Steroid Dependent Mesangial Proliferative Glomerular Nephritis –  Dr. Kamal Jalodia

Mother and Child Share the Same Remedy – Judith Acosta

A Boy of 8 with Episodes of Drowsiness – Dr. Rupal Anandpara

A Fearful Child –  Cynthia Kingsbury

Use of Potentized DPT for CMPA – Drs. Gyandas Wadhwani & Karen Hernández

A Case of Vaccine Induced Illness – Dr. Sohani Gonzalez

Chronic Otitis Media –  Dr. Atul Rajgurav

A Boy of 7 with Behavior Issues – Dr. Rekha Karnam Srinivasan

Chronic UTI’s  –  Deborah Walters

Chronic Gastric Trouble and Hypertension – Dr. Nidhi Pandya

Homeopathy/ Herbals support Cancer Treatment – Guðný Ósk Diðriksdóttir

Acute Pancreatitis – Dr. Jitesh Sharma

Autism Treated by CEASE Method – Maria H. Rossi

Bedwetting in 10 Year Old Girl – Dr. Parth APhale

Acute Appendicitis – Dr. Arulmamnickam


Ask the Holistic VetDr. Deva Khalsa, holistic veterinarian answers veterinary questions from readers. Send your questions to [email protected]

Two Cases of Canine Aggression – Dr. Wendy Jensen

Brain Cancer in Dogs and Cats – Dr. Maria Carolina

Book Reviews

Narayani Remedies by Nimisha Parekh is reviewed by Rochelle Marsden

Ask the Plant Doctor  – Agrohomeopath Radko Tichavsky answers readers’ questions about houseplants and crops. Send your questions to: [email protected]

QUIZ – Elaine Lewis – Sharpen your skills with this monthly quiz from Elaine Lewis. Also, see “Revisiting” to learn the answer to last month’s quiz.

There’ s more! Remember to see the new Cartoon and Crossword puzzle. Get Involved!  Send your questions and comments, cases, articles, book reviews and interviews to: [email protected]

About the author

Alan V. Schmukler

Alan V. Schmukler is a homeopath, Chief Editor of Homeopathy for Everyone and author of ”Homeopathy An A to Z Home Handbook”, (also in French, German, Greek, Polish and Portuguese). He is Hpathy’s resident cartoonist and also produces Hpathy’s Tips & Secrets column and homeopathy Crossword puzzles each month. Alan is a recipient of the National Center for Homeopathy Martha Oelman Community Service Award. Visit Alan at his website: Here.


    • Empathic listening is listening from the patient’s point of view. In order to do that you have to listen without judging the patient. If a patient tells a homeopath that she feels like ants are crawling on her skin, or that she dreams of being bitten by a dog after midnight (Merc) or that she feels no affection for her husband and children, we just look those up in the repertory. If the patient said those things to an allopath, they’d be referred for a psych workup or put on psychoactive drugs. Empathic listening is based on a phenomenological view, such that we’re all perceiving the world according to our own perceptual framework….and that is our reality. With empathic listening, we’re acknowledging the other person’s perceptions.
      Assertive messages are statements about yourself and they tell someone what they did to you, what effect that had, and how you felt about it. “When didn’t pick me up at the train station, I had to stand there in freezing rain and I was furious”. An aggressive message is a judgement about the other person and would sound like this: “You didn’t pick me up because you are always thoughtless and lazy.”
      That’s the skinny of it.

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