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August 1996

What Every Dermatologist Should Know About Homeopathy

Arch Dermatol. 1996;132(8):955-958. doi:10.1001/archderm.1996.03890320103015

TO MOST Americans, homeopathy is a vague concept representing a type of alternative health care. Most individuals who deliver health care as physicians in the United States are doctors of medicine (MDs). A second major group are doctors of osteopathy (DOs); osteopathy originally placed great emphasis on spinal manipulation but today the differences between MDs and DOs are not dramatic and are not the focus of our comments. Osteopathy and homeopathy obviously have nothing in common. In the experience of one of us (W.H.C.B.), many Americans tend to confuse or equate homeopathy and osteopathy. While MDs tend to think of their medicine as scientific medicine, not everyone agrees. To many patients and practitioners of homeopathy, we are allopaths and what we practice is allopathy, school medicine, or so-called scientific medicine. The term allopathy was originally coined by Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), the founder of homeopathy; today a working definition is "that

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