As alternative practices continue to enjoy a boom in popularity so the need for all of us to work to raise standards and improve ourselves through continued professional development deepens. The study of medical sciences is an essential part of the education of all alternative practitioners.
- It enables the practitioner to distinguish symptoms common to disease from those that are characteristic to the patient.
- It enables the practitioner to know how the disease is likely to progress should treatment be ineffective.
- It helps the practitioner know when to re-prescribe or to refer to another health care specialist or medical doctor.
- It helps communication and confidence both with patients and other health professionals.
- It provides an understanding of conventional diagnosis, prognosis and treatment, and how these may affect and modify management of an individual's health.
With the move towards higher standards in the teaching and practice of alternative medicine, it is becoming increasingly recognised that you need a sound understanding of key aspects of orthodox medicine to be a safe and effective practitioner. Knowledge can easily be gained on this from the comfort of your home and at your own pace through some great correspondence courses. One company, Alternative Training, offers three home-study courses in Nutrition, Human Anatomy & Physiology and Pathology & Disease. They are each about 150 hours of study and all are recognized by the Complimentary Medical Association (CMA).
The study of these subjects has, in the past, presented many problems with very few texts being specifically written for alternative practitioners. There are many fine medical books, but their content is usually too detailed or too biased towards the needs of orthodox practice. Alternative Training have developed their courses to provide a simple means for you to easily extract relevant material from carefully selected textbooks and to guide you step-by-step through your study in an interesting and easy way.
This approach is aided by additional clarification and expansion of many of the topics covered, with learning feedback provided through both self-assessment questions with model answers and tutor marked assignments. You can take any of their courses on their own, but the Anatomy & Physiology Course provides the ideal preparation before you start on the Pathology & Disease Course.
The topics covered by each course should be sufficient on their own for many therapies. If you need more detailed study in particular areas, however, the courses will give you a very solid foundation for this. They will also be of value if you need to expand or refresh your existing knowledge of these subjects, particularly if your previous study was in an orthodox medical environment.
The emphasis in each course is to help you understand the material, and to make your study have as much practical application as possible. This is particularly true with the Pathology & Disease and Nutrition Courses, where a large amount of valuable information is readily presented for your direct use as a practitioner.
By Mani Norland BA (hons)
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