Homeopathy is a branch of medicine sometimes referred to as alternative, natural or holistic medicine. Homeopathy differs from traditional clinical medicine practiced by doctors holding an M.D., who typically diagnose disease based on symptoms. Homeopathic medical practitioners concentrate on preventative and diagnostic medicine, but they often prescribe natural remedies rather than pharmaceutical ones. Some schools offer online degrees in homeopathic medicine or naturalistic health consultation.
Homeopathy and Traditional Healthcare
Before pursuing a homeopathic medicine degree online, consider the place of homeopathic medicine in relation to the rest of the health care industry. Generally, natural-health practice has been frowned upon by the medical community, but in recent years it has made some progress in gaining some credibility.
For instance, in an interview with ABC News, Dr. Mimi Guarneri, M.D., of the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine, indicated it is advisable for people seeking natural cures to at least consult a doctor trained in traditional and homeopathic medicine. An article by Marja Verhoef and Lloyd Sutherland, published on the National Institutes of Health website, indicated that homeopathy had proved to be the least effective alternative medical practice compared with others like acupuncture.
Few schools offer online alternative and homeopathic degrees. As in traditional Western medical schools, many alternative-medicine schools still insist on hands-on training. A few schools do offer online degrees in the field. Some of these include Breyer State University in Los Angeles and Everglades University, with three campus locations in Florida.
Degrees offered by online institutions vary by school and what degrees it is authorized to confer. This is generally based on the school's accreditation. Everglades University offers a bachelor's of science degree online, while Breyer State University offers an online master's degree in natural health care and wellness consulting.
Curriculum standards vary by school and degree plan offered. The master's program at Breyer State University offers basic courses in natural health and wellness, aromatherapy, acupressure, anatomy and physiology, herbology and homeopathy. The degree offered by Everglades University requires a total of 123 credit hours to graduate. Courses include studies in areas such as traditional Chinese medicine, botany and herbology, nutrition and aging and antioxidants.
If you are thinking of pursuing a career in natural health, your credentials may play a key role in determining whether or not patients and the rest of the medical community recognize the legitimacy of your degree. Online degrees are still questioned by many in the academic community.
When looking for an online degree, if possible, seek a school that has achieved regional accreditation. These schools generally have the strongest reputation in academia. An article published by GetEducated.com elucidates some of the problems with online degrees, one of which is the fake accrediting agencies that often back the degrees. A degree from a college recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation is the most desirable option.
- healing waters image by Joseph Dudash from Fotolia.com