In second year University, I enrolled in a Biomedical ethics course that challenged me to express my guttural reactions against allopathic medicine in terms of sound, rational arguments. For the first time, I learned to reinforce my general disdain for poor bedside manners and spastic prescribing with proper philosophical investigation.
Though I excelled in the heated class discussions and provocative assignments, I knew that it was never enough to simply undermine the status quo. As a student of philosophy, I recognized the imperative to offer a viable alternative. And so, I decided to complement my critical orientation to the health sciences with a more committed role: I decided to become a physician.
My first consideration was naturopathy. It reinforced the principle I repeatedly returned to in my academic studies: “First do no harm.” Moreover, it was under the direction of a trusted naturopath that my own health started to improve. But when I asked him about his training, I realized that my experience was more of an accident than the rule. He explained that he was introduced to disparate modalities like different entrees at a buffet. With enough offerings to stimulate any palate, without a principled organization, I knew that it could never satisfy my ethical and scientific standards.
After two years of extensive research, in my fourth year of University, I found the Hahnemann College of Heilkunst. I was immediately impressed with its emphasis on mapping out the entire context in which Heilkunst is rendered meaningful. I was satisfied with the justification provided for its suitability as a framework for dynamic medicine. My studies quickly allowed me to navigate through the “natural health” field and admit only what could be supported by sound reason.
My experiences at Arcanum are a further testament to the strength of rational medicine. I now understand why solid principles are demanded by all those interested in accepting responsibility for their own health, not just burgeoning philosophy students. As the first point of contact, I interact with practitioners, students, and patients alike. Since all discussions are grounded in a common context, all participants are invited to become fluent in the language of their own health. Whether I am searching for an explanation from my mentors or introducing a prospective patient to Heilkunst, I am confident that our exchanges empower all voice to spring forth out of understanding rather than quiver under the authority of others. In light of the functional relationship between health and autonomy, I recognize this principled foundation as the only appropriate context for medicine and expect nothing less.