You have visited a study group, bought a homeopathic over-the-counter remedy or investigated the use of a single remedy on the advice of a friend. You have had a small success and would like to use homeopathy to tackle a more important health problem, or you want a homeopath to take care of your family. Where do you go from here?
Homeopathy is practiced by a wide variety of health-care practitioners, including medical doctors, osteopaths, naturopathic physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, dentists, veterinarians, chiropractors, acupuncturists, nurse midwives, and podiatrists, as well as by professional homeopaths, who practice only homeopathy and are unlicensed in any other discipline.
The problem for the consumer is that the practitioners level of competence in homeopathy often has little to do with his or her type of licensure. The best test of qualifications is whether they have been certified in homeopathy. The CCH credential (Certified Classical Homeopath) is excellent, as well as the DHt (Diplomate in Homeotherapeutics, available for MDs and DOs), and the DHANP (Diplomate of the Homeopathic Academy of Naturopathic Physicians, available for naturopathic physicians). For veterinarians, the credential CVH indicates that they are a Certified Veterinary Homeopath.
What kind of questions will help you identify your chosen practitioner? The questions will certainly vary with each case, but a few pertinent ones might be: Does the practitioner specialize in homeopathy? Does the practitioner use classical homeopathy? Where was the practitioner trained? How long has the practitioner actively been using homeopathy? Has the practitioner had experience with the diagnostic category in which your condition fits?
Some other important issues might be: how distant the practitioner is from your home and whether or not your insurance company will cover the visit. As a general rule, if the type of practitioner is covered by your insurance, then the visit will be covered. You may also consider whether the practitioner includes other therapies in his or her practice and if you would like to use those therapies.
The choices open to you will vary according to where you live. If you are in a major metropolitan area, you will have more choices, although many practitioners are spread throughout the United States. Remember, use the resources close at hand, and good luck with your homeopathic experience.