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The Practice of Our Art
by William Boericke

The young physician is urged to adhere to the pure and simple law of homoeopathy. If it were not perfect it would not be a law. The demonstration of the triangle is just as true today as when discovered, no more, no less. Being perfect, any attempt to improve it would be absurd and claims of improvement would simply make the claimant ridiculous in the opinion of all who know the law. The only reason why the cure is not speedily effected in every case that is curable is the lack of proper application of the law of homoeopathy, in the selection and administration of the remedy. The law is perfect, but the physician, being human, is imperfect.

There is but little use in trying to get deeper than the best of symptoms furnished by the patient in describing his sensations, added to the observation of the nurse, together with what the physician can see for himself. This complete list will be rich enough, without resorting to chemistry, the microscope and all sorts of apparatus, the results of which are not provided for in the pure materia medica (1). It is right to delve into any subject bearing on the human species, as a matter of information or curiosity, provided it does not warp the judgment in selecting the remedy under the law (2). The young practitioner should memorize the materia medica, as the mathematician learns the multiplication table, paying particular attention to the characteristic symptoms (3).

For the purpose of cure there is no need for diagnosis, and even the men of the old school ruefully admit the same. But giving a name will often appease patient and friend alike. Avoid all nonsense in the form of pet theories advanced, which lead away from the pure application of the law. Review the old works of Hahnemann and read them understandingly for yourself. They are well written and the meaning is clear for you to get the subject by the right “handle.” Take, once again, the Organon and other publications by the great discoverer and see the subject through his eyes. Let him lead you up to the truth and the law, so that you will feel secure in following his footsteps. The truth should be obtained pure. His was the master-mind in his field of research. He ranks among the greatest philosophers and discoverers of the world. There is nothing better than the law and those who follow it want nothing better. (1917)

Comments by Dr. André Saine:

  1. The results of laboratory tests, radio-imaging and results of other forms of examination (i.e., sleep study) can help in the prognosis and follow-up of the patient.
  2. Boericke, like Hahnemann and Hahnemannians, is right to say that all that is pertinent to human nature may be useful to better understand our patients and their symptoms.
  3. Boericke discourages novices to homeopathy, as it impossible to learn the materia medica by heart. However, students of homeopathy want to understand what is peculiar in patients. This is better accomplished by reading the materia medica, knowing pathology, reading cure cases and clinical experience. Also they want to know how to take a complete case, how to analyze a case, how to interpret the language of the patient in the language of the repertory, where to find the symptoms in the repertory, and how to study the materia medica.

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Dr Andre Saine
Dr Andre Saine

Dean of the Canadian Academy of Homeopathy Dr. André Saine is a graduate of National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon and has been the Dean of the Canadian Academy of Homeopathy since 1986. He has taught homeopathy extensively in North America and Europe for over 25 years to health care professionals.

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