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Who Is Qualified to Practice Classical Homeopathy?
As of the time of this writing, 2022, there is very little state regulation and no federal regulation of the practice of homeopathy in the United States. Just about anyone can call themselves a homeopath. For those practicing Classical Homeopathy (the oldest form of homeopathy), a handful of professional organizations offer professional certification in Classical Homeopathic medicine to ensure a baseline of competency among certified practitioners.
For example, I am a Certified Classical Homeopath (CCH), and you can see me listed with Council for Homeopathic Certification (CHC) here.
Last updated 6/2022
The Council for Homeopathic Certification (CHC)
The CHC is the primary professional certifying body in North America for non-medical homeopaths, i.e. homeopaths who focus exclusively on classical homeopathy and do not have credentials in conventional medicine. Homeopaths with the suffix "CCH" (for Certified Classical Homeopath) after their name, have completed an extensive course of study with an ACHENA certified homeopathy school (or the equivalent), AND have passed the rigorous CHC exam. CCH credential holders must complete annual continuing education hours to maintain their credential. You can see a list of CCH's in the US by clicking here.
Founded in 1844, the AIH is the first and oldest medical association in the United States. The AIH was created to promote the practice of homeopathy among conventionally and homeopathically trained physicians. AIH has within its ranks MD's, ND's, and DO's. The AIH maintains a directory of its members available here. More recently, few ACHENA accredited homeopathy schools have begun to offer training for medical professionals. The Academy of Homeopathy Education (AHE) is one of these.
ACHENA is the professional certifying body for classical homeopathic educational programs in North America. ACHENA maintains rigorous standards for educational programs ensuring a high standard of quality in these homeopathic training programs. If you are interested in studying classical homeopathy, ACHENA is a good place to look for quality programs.
It is critical to note that anyone can call themself a naturopath. The term "naturopathic physician" (NP) refers to doctors who received a degree from a naturopathic medical school. There are only a handful of states in the US that license NP's. In prior decades, most NP's had at least a fundamental grounding, perhaps a rotation in homeopathy, but over the last 20 years, often under pressure from state regulatory agencies, most naturopathic medical programs have either reduced or eliminated their homeopathy programs, and particularly have eliminated programs in classical homeopathy. AANP is the national professional association for naturopathic physicians in the United States. Today, most NP's seeking to practice homeopathy as a primary treatment modality, either practice non-classical homeopathy or pursue additional training in classical homeopathy in order to become proficient. The AANP offers a Diploma of the Homeopathic Academy of Homeopathic Physicians or DHANP.
The North American Society of Homeopaths is the primary professional organization for non-medical homeopaths in North America. NASH serves a variety of essential functions for the profession, including offering its own certification: Registered Homeopath North America (RsHom). This credential is available to homeopaths who have attended an accredited homeopathy school, completed the CCH credential, practiced successfully for at least two years and have submitted a substantial body of professional work for review.
The American Board of Homeotherapeutics offers the DHt, and The College of Homeopaths in Ontario, Canada offers the Hom, which has the distinction of serving as an actual license to practice homeopathy in the Province of Ontario.
While not a credentialing organization itself, a large number of professional homeopaths, both medical and non-medical, support NCH. The mission of NCH is to represent the field of homeopathy to the public. In addition to the quarterly magazine pictured at right, NCH maintains a list of credentialed practitioners in the US and Canada. They even have a FREE GUIDE to choosing a homeopath.
For the USA, the easiest answer to this question is that someone with a credential from one of the above organizations is qualified. People holding that credential have met the professionally established baseline of education, clinical training, and examination to be certified by their peers, and practitioners must maintain that certification with continuing education.
If you encounter someone who claims to be a homeopath but does not have either an appropriate medical degree or a certificate of completion from an ACHENA accredited school, AND/OR a CCH or RHom, you may be taking a gamble.
Do your due diligence, it will pay off with a good practitioner. If you are unsure, ask for client and professional references. Most homeopaths will happily provide them.