BOOK REVIEW

Ajit Kulkarni, MD (Hom)*

THE JOURNEY TO UNPREJUDICED OBSERVATION
PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE
Author: Dr. N. L. Tiwari
Published by: Dr. M.L. Dhawale Memorial Trust, Mumbai

First Edition, 2017
Pages:  140    Price: Rs. 300/-

International Teacher of Homeopathy

*Address for correspondence: Dr Ajit Kulkarni Email: dr_ajitkulkarni@hotmail.com

How to cite this article:

Kulkarni AK. Book Review: The Journey to Unprejudiced Observation Principles and Practice. Journal of Integrated Standardized Homoeopathy (JISH) 2018;01(01):34-35.

Received on: August 02, 2018

Accepted for Publication: August 08, 2018

This book on ‘Unprejudiced observation’ by Dr. N. L. Tiwari, a senior and distinguished physician of India and a mentor at the prestigious institute of ICR, is a welcome contribution to the aspiring students and practitioners of Homeopathy.

The book addresses the fundamental issue of prejudice, which is a stumbling block to successful Homeopathic practice.

Homeopathy is a highly complex medical therapy and to practice it in its true spirit is a herculean task!  As a science, Homeopathy expects a lot…a lot from the physician and to fulfill the demands is a life-long mission. In apt words, Homeopathy is like a perfectionist but nagging wife!

The author has divided the book in 10 chapters that deal with theoretical foundations, evolution of the physician in handling the prejudice; evolution of the observer, supervisor and of course the learners through the group discussion method. Prejudice in emergencies and pathologies in children, short and long, advanced pathological conditions being presented as illustrations.

In the chapter on “Theoretical foundations”, the author deals with the foundation of the prejudice as a theme and as an obstacle. The author clarifies that being unprejudiced doesn’t mean having no prejudice. It means becoming aware of our own prejudices, so that they no longer control us. The more aware we are of them the more we are able to identify them and see the patient’s problems as distinct from our own; and the better we are able to truly perceive the patient.

Prejudice deals with the physician’s sensitivity and sensibility.  As a human being, the physician has his own personality, socio-cultural background and personal frame of reference. With the individual attributes at the background, the physician deals with the patient as a healer. To be a healer requires an unprejudiced mind which is able to perceive the patient as he is.

The author emphasizes the base of ‘knowledge’ as the only solution in correcting the prejudices. As a matter of fact, the concept of prejudice deals with the concept of the self. The concept of self has to be realistic. Being prejudiced, a preconceived notion or opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience, makes a physician encaged in his own narrow fencing. The prior experiences of a physician play a vital role in the frame of reference which the physician carries in his interactions with the patient.

It is interesting that many of the stalwarts in Homoeopathy have dealt with the issue of  prejudice. The author quotes Hahnemann, Boeninghausen, Hering, Kent, Boger, Roberts, Stuart close, etc.

Dr. M. L. Dhawale’s precise comments speak of his wisdom:

  • The fundamental problem of Homoeopathic Practice is prejudice.
  • The whole is available only to the whole.
  • It is important that the healer is healed first, is rendered whole before he embarks on the  task of healing

The author offers some solutions for prejudice:

  • Increase the knowledge base
  • Be a widely read and cultured physician
  • Let your patients be your teachers
  • Have an observer with you
  • Observe some else’s interview
  • Participate in drug proving
  • Engage in educational activities where clinical interviews are presented

It would have been better, had the author paid attention to the extensive research that has been done (Approaches to prejudice reduction, Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia). Some of the modalities which have emerged out of research are Intergroup interactive approaches (Interdependence approaches, Cooperative training, Intergroup contact approaches, Social identity approaches, Disclosure approaches); Individual approaches {Affective ( Perspective taking, Empathy)}, Cognitive (Thought awareness and suppression, Attitude reconditioning, Thought process reconditioning, Experts and norms, Accountability and value consistency, Self-affirmation), Integrated approaches (Reading interventions).

Chapter four deals with ‘Perceiving prejudice through short cases’. The author has presented cases through two divisions in each case ‘Learner’s totality’ and ‘Consultant’s totality’. How the process of evaluation of components and consequent portrait of the disease is constructed and how prejudice plays a big role has been adequately demonstrated by the author.

Chapter six deals with ‘Evolution as a consultant’ and through illustrative cases, the author gives ‘Learning from the case’. This literally carries the learner towards the problem and the resolution and what kind of learning occurred in the case. The long interview with the analysis of the state of the physician helps a reader to know the deep dimensions how we go work with prejudice at the background. Group discussion method evolved by Dr. M. L. Dhawale is a great way to shed off the fabrics of prejudice that we have the habit to wear!

Chapter Seven on ‘Prejudice in Emergencies and Pathologies in infants’ is a small one and I feel that more elaboration on this IMP group could have been added.

Chapter Eight and Nine focus on ‘Evolution of The Observer-Supervisor’ and The Final Test of the clinician and the author gives advanced pathological cases to vindicate his points how prejudice makes changes in erecting the totality and how the process of selection of a remedy is affected. Transactional record analysis given under Appendix A is a good exercise to know how the interview runs and how the subjectivity of the primary physician plays a role. The need of a supervisor has to be underscored; it helps training the mind in a faster way.

The issue of unprejudiced physician speaks volumes of the quality of Homeopathic practice that has to be realistic, committed and artistic. This work by the senior physician should go a long way in opening up the gates of our mysterious mind that constantly generates a plethora of beliefs, attitudes and imaginations and to keep them at the minimum and to be perpetually aware what a physician has to offer as an excellence to the patients.