Minimum Homeopathy Competencies for Naturopathic Education in North America: A Consensus Document

Introduced by Ian Luepker, ND, DHANP


So how often to homeopaths find consensus? I know this may sound like a lead-in to a bad joke, but there is a snippet of truth underlying this (rhetorical) question. There has been a rift within homeopathic methodology for the last 15+ years, and it sometimes seems like we can’t agree on anything. I fear that this rift may be undermining our profession.

The HANP strives toward inclusiveness, and as our last issue of Simillimum suggests, we value different methodologies. However, when it comes to core educational standards, the HANP believes every graduating ND student needs to have an understanding of some basic competencies to practice successfully. These core educational competencies are an essential foundation to further study and competent practice. Without them, it is easy to get off track with some of the newer thinking in homeopathy, and become a poor prescriber.

In the Spring of 2004, the HANP Board of Directors, lead by president Neil Tessler, ND, DHANP, decided to spearhead the process of forming an intercollegiate group of all the homeopathic faculty at each of the accredited ND colleges in North America. Their goal was to create a document describing the minimum homeopathic competencies necessary for ND students to accomplish by graduation. The document also provided guidance in developing the homeopathic portion of the NPLEX/NABNE board exams. Over the next three years the Council of Naturopathic College Educators (CNCHE) met and developed a document titled “Minimum Homeopathic Competencies for Naturopathic Education in North America.”

The document is divided into four categories of competency:

  1. Cognitive competencies: What all ND students should know about homeopathy. This includes materia medica, philosophy, principles, history and homeoprophylaxis.
  2. Behavioral competencies: What all ND students should be able to do regarding homeopathy. This includes understanding the doctor-patient relationship, case-taking, case-analysis, case-management, and differentiating between acute and chronic conditions.
  3. Affective competencies: What emotional strategies and skills all ND students should master regarding homeopathic practice. This includes self-awareness, self-care, and setting appropriate boundaries,
  4. Mixed competencies: Competencies that all ND students should be able to achieve that involve clear mixing of the above groups.

This document has many merits, but most importantly, it is a consensus document that faculty from 5 accredited ND schools agreed upon as a foundation for ND homeopathic competency. Though each member of CHCHE has their own methodology, they found agreement and overlap in what basic competencies should be taught and understood by a graduating ND. Thus finding consensus despite their differences!

This is extraordinary in itself, but the HANP is considering how this document could be utilized to set a baseline for what a DHANP needs to know in order to become certified. To this end, we are considering creating our own DHANP testing question-bank that is based on this document. We are creating a sub-committee to explore developing a question bank based on this document!

If developing a question bank based on this document is something that you are interested in helping the HANP to accomplish, please let us know! Follow this link to access the original “Minimum Homeopathy Competencies for Naturopathic Education in North America” document.

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