Homeopathy fell out of favor in the United States in the early 20th century, following the Flexner report and a move toward allopathic medicine.(1) Since the 1970’s, homeopathy has been regaining popularity slowly, though not at the levels seen earlier. It is of interest to look at the characteristics of current U.S. homeopathic practitioners and their practices.
Todd Rowe, MD, MD(H), CCH, DHt, and Iris Bell, MD, MD(H), PhD surveyed homeopathic practitioners across the U.S. in 2006, with the purpose of characterizing both the providers of homeopathic care and their practices. (2) They found five levels of homeopathic practice.
- Level one includes those who are appreciators of homeopathy but do not practice it. Estimates are that no more than 4% of the US population are level one supporters of homeopathy.
- Level two individuals are casual practitioners who learn to prescribe based on condition and with a focus on first aid. Estimates are that about 0.1% of the total population practice at this level.
- Level three practitioners are focused on acute care, with homeopathy used regularly.
- Level four practitioners are usually licensed healthcare providers who learn to prescribe a limited number of “constitutional remedies” that are used in the treatment of deeper chronic conditions. This style of homeopathy is part of the overall practice of the individual.
- The level five practitioner self-identifies as a homeopath, and homeopathy is the primary focus of the individual’s work.
The chart below looks at estimates of licensed practitioners, for whom total numbers were available from their professional associations, and examines the level at which they tend to practice. These estimates came from leaders within the homeopathic community.
|Practitioner Type||Total # in U.S.||Level Three||Level Four||Level Five|
*numbers vary based on definition of naturopath
**total U.S. population
As indicated in the foregoing chart, the largest number of practitioners are unlicensed. It is noteworthy that both naturopaths and chiropractors are found to practice at an acute care level. Other licensed practitioners, for whom the total number of practitioners in the U.S. is not available, includes registered nurses in an independent clinical setting, Oriental Medicine practitioners, and acupuncturists
Homeopathic practice in the U.S.References:
- The history of American homeopathy: from rational medicine to holistic health care
John S. Haller and Michael A. Flannery, University Press, 2009, p14-32.
- “National Homeopathic Practitioner Survey” A study Conducted by the American Medical College Of Homeopathy Department of Research, Todd Rowe MD, MD(H), CCH, DHt, Iris Bell MD, MD(H)¸PhD., Jan 2007, available on the AMCH website.