Certification in Homeopathic Medicine
By Allison Skoglind, allied health world contributing writer
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Why should homeopaths earn homeopathic certification?Since homeopaths are not typically required to become licensed or registered, many homeopaths choose to become certified because it is one of the few nationally recognized ways of establishing and conveying a level of professional aptitude. Although voluntary, certification is quickly becoming an occupational standard that most patients, consumers, and employers look for when choosing a homeopath.
Homeopaths that earn certification are also added to a national directory that patients commonly refer to when selecting a practitioner, which greatly helps to attract business and build clientele. In addition, certification will qualify homeopaths to become eligible for memberships into professional associations like the North American Society of Homeopaths.
Where can homeopaths get certified?The Council for Homeopathic Certification (CHC) is one the primary general certification agencies for homeopaths in the United States and has been in operation since 1991. Other major certification agencies include the American Board Homeotherapeutics (ABHt) and the Homeopathic Academy of Naturopathic Physicians (HANP). Homeopaths that are interested in becoming certified should contact each individual agency and inquire about specific eligibility requirements, examination schedules, application processes, certification fees, and continuing education obligations as these factors may vary between agencies.
What are the eligibility requirements for homeopathic certification by the Council for Homeopathic Certification (CHC)?Many homeopaths decide to get certified through the CHC because unlike other certification agencies, the CHC does not require candidates to be licensed or registered medical physicians. There are a few ways that homeopaths can qualify for CHC examination that results in homeopathic certification: formal education homeopathy courses, apprenticeship, or professional practice.
Those that want to qualify via formal education must complete at least 500 hours of formal education in classical homeopathy through academics, seminars, and conferences in addition to 390 hours of clinical education in case observation, case analysis, and full case supervision.
Homeopaths and students that want to qualify by apprenticeship must show that the apprenticeship was conducted by a mentor that has been certified in classical homeopathy and whose practice is in general health care consisting of at least 750 patient visits annually. Apprentices are required to complete at least 2,000 hours of contact training with a mentor over a three to six year period.
Homeopaths can also qualify for certification by engaging in professional practice through a partnered practice. In this instance, the applicant must hold a homeopathy job for a minimum of four years with at least 500 patient visits during each of these years.
Finally, those that have completed a combination of formal education, clinical work, professional training, and apprenticeship experience may be able to qualify for certification examination by following the CHC point systems used in the application process. Candidates that accrue at least forty points within the application point systems may likewise qualify.
What kinds of continuing education requirements are needed to maintain homeopathic certification?All certified homeopathic professionals must complete a specific number of hours in homeopathic education on an annual or tri-annual basis depending on through which agency certification was granted. For instance, the Council for Homeopathic Certification requires the fulfillment of twenty continuing education units (CEUs) each year.
The American Board of Homeotherapeutics, which administers medical and osteopathic physicians with a diplomat specialty certification, must earn thirty hours of continuing education credits every three years.
The Homeopathic Academy of Naturopathic Physicians offers specialty certification for naturopathic physicians and follows the CHC guidelines regarding continuing education requirements.