The Homeopathic Community and Profession
The practice of homeopathy is diverse. While many practitioners are medically licensed, many are non-licensed. Quality varies greatly from those who take a weekend course and hang up a shingle, to those who have seriously studied homeopathy for many years and are certified in their practice. Licensure denotes the legal right to practice within a given jurisdiction. Certification denotes the quality of a given homeopathic practitioner as determined by a certifying body.
Medical Doctors, Osteopathic Doctors and Naturopathic Doctors
Licensure to practice homeopathy in Arizona varies depending on the individual's background. For MD's (medical doctors) and DO's (osteopathic doctors), licensure to practice in Arizona is through the Arizona Homeopathic and Integrated Medicine Board. Completion of AMCH's certificate, or doctoral programs provide sufficient hours to sit for the licensing exam. AMCH's distance learning programs provides part of the hours necessary to sit for the licensing exam. Homeopathy also lies within the scope of practice of the naturopathic license, and the nurse practitioner license in Arizona.
For all others, the legal practice of homeopathy in Arizona in the past has only been possible as a Homeopathic Medical Assistant (see below for the new legal exemption). A Homeopathic Medical Assistant practices homeopathy under the auspices of a licensed homeopathic physician (MD or DO) and a Homeopathic Veterinary Assistant practices under the auspices of a licensed veterinary physician. Successful completion of AMCH's certificate program provides sufficient hours to become registered as a Homeopathic Medical Assistant in Arizona.
Licensing Board Exemption:
Arizona passed a new law (Senate Bill 1236 and 1382; ARS: 32-2911*) that provides an exemption to the practice of classical homeopathy for classical homeopathic practitioners in the State of Arizona if they meet the following criteria:
- Provide Treatment of the "Spiritual" Vital Force
- Use Classical Hahnemannian Principles in Treatment
- Use Diluted Homeopathic Medicines (potency 6X or greater) Prepared Using HPUS Guidelines Homeopathic practitioners practicing under this exemption may now use the title homeopath or homeopathic practitioner to describe themselves and their practice.
Licensure to practice homeopathy is complex and varies depending on the individual's background and location. The states of Connecticut and Nevada are the only other states in the US that license homeopathic medical doctors and homeopathic medical assistants. Since 2006, there has been a movement to introduce homeopathic licensure into other states. Thirteen states license naturopathic physicians and homeopathy is included within their scope of practice. All 50 states license DVM's, where homeopathy is included within the scope of practice. 45 states have regulations concerning the practice of Veterinary Technicians including Arizona (Delaware, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Utah and Wyoming are the only states that currently do not). Several states include homeopathy within the scope of practice for chiropractic physicians and acupuncturists. Since 2000, California, Minnesota, Oklahoma and Rhode Island have adopted legislation conferring freedom to practice for anyone who gives full disclosure of their training and background. There is currently an effort to adopt this legislation in other states, as well as to adopt homeopathic licensure in other states.
AMCH encourages all students on graduation to become certified in their practice. The Homeopathic Medical Assistant and Homeopathic Practitioner Certificate Programs provide sufficient hours of training to become certified by any of the national homeopathic certification boards. National certification may be obtained through the Council for Homeopathic Certification (866-242-3399 toll free; www.homeopathicdirectory.com) (for both non-licensed and licensed health professionals), American Board for Homeopathic Therapeutics (434-295-0362;www.homeopathyusa.org/specialty-board.html) (for MD's and DO's only), Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy (866-652-1590; www.theavh.org) (for DVM's only) or the Homeopathic Academy of Naturopathic Physicians (503-761-3298; www.hanp.net) (for ND's only). Completion of both the certificate and doctoral programs, provides sufficient hours (classroom and clinical) to sit for any of the national homeopathic certification exams. We are in the process of pursuing homeopathic certification for Homeopathic Veterinary Assistants through the Council for Homeopathic Certification.
Practice After Graduation
The majority of AMCH graduates go on to practice homeopathic medicine in private practice. Nearly all practice as self-employed homeopathic practitioners. There are also occasional job opportunities in homeopathic research, homeopathic pharmacy, homeopathic teaching and within the homeopathic industry. See the National Homeopathic Practitioner Surveyfor more details about practice after graduation.
*ARS 32-2911. Persons and acts not affected by chapter
This chapter does not prevent:
The practice of any other method, system or science of healing by a person who is licensed pursuant to the laws of this state if that person is acting within the scope of that license.
The practice by homeopathic physicians discharging their duties while members of the armed forces of the United States or other federal agencies.
A person from administering a lawful domestic or family remedy, health food or health food supplement to that person's immediate family members.
A person from administering over-the-counter homeopathic remedies in the course of providing medical assistance in an emergency.
The practice of any of the healing arts offered by this state's Indian tribes.
The practice of religion, treatment by prayer or the laying on of hands as a religious rite or ordinance.
Any act competently performed by a physician assistant that is within the scope of that person's duties.
A physician licensed in any state, district or territory of the United States from infrequently consulting with a person licensed under this chapter or acting pursuant to an invitation by a legitimate sponsor to visit this state to promote professional education through lectures, clinics or demonstrations if that visiting physician does not open an office, meet with patients or receive calls relating to the practice of homeopathic medicine outside of the sponsoring institution's facilities and programs.
The independent practice of acupuncture as a traditional Asian healing art.
The practice of providing treatment of the spiritual vital force in accordance with Hahnemanian principles through the use of remedies that are diluted beyond the concentration of substances in drinking water and prepared in the manner described in the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia of the United States.