Anatomy, Physiology & Pathology - course description

Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology & the Nature of Disease 

for the homeopathic student & Practitioner 

Five 10-week modules 

each week consists of 2 hours of live lecture with additional self-paced and supporting materials -  a total of 100 hours of live (or live recorded) lecture providing an est. 400 hours of live + self-paced study.

This will be my second offering of this as a live course.  The first offering in 2014-2015 was very well-received and a delight for me to teach; I've learned a great deal from the first go-around which I intend to incorporate into this second offering.

renal tubuleI've chosen to interweave anatomy, physiology and pathology in this course, rather than present these as if they were separable topics; and to present these as investigations into the operations of the organism as a complex adaptive system in health & disease, rather than taking the more conventional iatromechanical/iatrochemical reductionist/mechanistic approach. One of the great difficulties in presenting a complex system, is knowing where to open it up to begin; as an ability to comprehend one "part” presupposes knowledge of other "parts" as well as appreciation of the whole. My solution is to begin historically, which also permits us to appreciate how these topics were understood by Hahnemann and his early colleagues in the development of homeopathy, at the time of the divergences of both homeopathic and modern "conventional” medicine from the "old-school” medicine of the 18th century. 

This course is designed from the perspective of the homeopathic practitioner ... with a focus on the discovery of how anatomical, physiologic and pathologic observations can effectively inform our daily practice of homeopathy. At every juncture, materials will be presented in the context of homeopathic practice; investigating the organ and tissue affinities of remedies with case examples, detailing how our homeopathic approaches to observation of the organism can help us to understand the nature of the disease process and effectively inform pathology 

 Who should take this course? 

  • Those who wish to complete the Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology pre-requisites for CHC certification; 
  • Those who wish to attend the Academy of Homeopathic Studies online homeopathic training program. This will be the required basic medical sciences portion of the curriculum; 
  • Any student or practitioner of homeopathy wishing to expand their appreciation of the organism in health and disease. 


This 100 hour course will be presented in 5 modules of 10 weeks each, with breaks scheduled between modules. Modules may be purchased and taken separately, but must be taken sequentially, as content will build upon previous modules. 

Each module includes:   

20 live contact hours (ten 2-hour weekly webinars)   

60 hours individual study time (6 hours of self-guided weekly study) 

The course may be attended live, or by participating in pre-recorded, self-paced modules. 

With a total 100 hours of direct online instruction in live Webinar sessions*, supplemented by an additional 300 hours of guided Online and Offline self-paced study, this course is designed to exceed the Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology requirements prerequisite for CHC certification. (*All webinar sessions will be available as streaming video on our course support site for review by participants at their convenience). 

A few of the "live” sessions will be pre-recorded by Dr. Taylor. For those taking this course live, you'll be able to view these sessions at your convenience, during the week of the scheduled offering.  Your questions, comments and general discussion will be addressed as usual in the online discussion forum. 

Your participation requires:   

2 hours / week of live or pre-recorded webinar sessions   

6 hours / week (estimated) of guided self-paced study, including:      

- reading in assigned texts & online references      

- online quiz completion      

- online forum discussion   

- occasional learning-based assignments 

 Topics will include 

  • An introduction to the medical sciences 
  • Historical perspectives on medical science - humoral theory, materia pecans, the healing power of nature, nutrition; the medical systems of Hippocrates, Sydenham, Boerhaave, Brown, Hufeland; 
  • the births of homeopathy and of contemporary "conventional” medicine in the context of the age of enlightenment and the scientific revolution 
  • Mechanism, reductionism, Cartesian dualism, animism, vitalism, and dynamism in historical & contemporary perspective 
  • A complex systems perspective on medicine 
  • Realms/levels of study of the organism - anatomy, histology, cellular biology, physiology, biological chemistry, behavior, psychology 
  • A review of classical anatomy; its roles in initiation of the health professional, and in informing effective therapeutic means 
  • A study of the major organ system, tissues, and physiologic processes in health & disease 
  • Understanding contemporary medical investigations - radiology, endoscopy, ECG, laboratory testing - what they can tell us, what their limitations are in clinical practice 
  • Mind/body dualism; the effect of dualism on contemporary medicine; Hahnemann's perspective; and a proposed reconciliation 
  • The classification and naming of disease; nosological systems past & present; pathological systems of classification; advantages and misadventures in disease naming and classification 
  • Infectious disease - germ theory examined historically, in contemporary conventional practice, and in the context of complex systems theory; Hahnemann's perspective and implications for homeopathic practice 
  • Zoonoses and the cultural history and origins of infectious disease; implications for the study of emerging disease 
  • Immunology 
  • Genetics, heredity, and the evolving field of epigenetics 
  • Health & disease of the mind; the impact of Cartesian dualism and post-Cartesian solutions 

LippeIn 1867, Adolph Lippe eliminated the Chair of Pathology at the Homeopathic Medical College of Pennsylvania, asserting that "Pathology teaches us only such symptoms as must by necessity always be present in a given form of disease, are characteristic of the disease only, but do not include, and of necessity, cannot include the peculiar, extraordinary symptoms of every individual.” - prompting Constantine Hering to resign, and found the Hahnemann Medical College of Philadelphia. Lippe's views may be true of pathology adopted blindly directly from conventional practice, with full adoption of its attendant philosophies and assumptions. But we are not prevented from claiming a more carefully obtained knowledge of the organism in health and disease from being useful to our profession, unburdened by these limiting perspectives. It has been a great pleasure to put together this course on the medical sciences... the course I wish I'd had the opportunity to attend back when I first entered into my medical studies. The "health sciences” are often taught divorced from homeopathic studies, in courses adopted from the conventional western medical perspective; or by revisioning conventional medical material within a generic "alternative” framework. It has often puzzled me that the study of the organism feels to many homeopaths to be somehow outside the domain of our profession, something we might occasionally "borrow” from conventional practice. This course is boots-up, hat-down designed from the perspective of the homeopathic practitioner, with the understanding that the human body is fully properly the domain of our art and science. This is not some dried-out 'the fibula articulates proximally with the lateral epicondyle of the tibia and terminates distally in the lateral malleolus' kind of course. We will learn the anatomy. But my mentor in medical school - Larry Weed, the originator of the "SOAP note” and the "problem-oriented record” - emphasized that we should memorize nothing deliberately in our four years of medical school; but focus instead on learning our resources, such that we end up unwittingly memorizing those things we have found the need to look up 30 times or more; but more importantly, knowing where to locate the information on those things less commonly encountered. Our focus, instead, will be on the discovery of how anatomical, physiologic and pathologic observations can effectively inform our daily practice of homeopathy. We will devote some time to learning how we have come to regard the life sciences as we do in contemporary society, from a historical perspective. This is essential knowledge. It is common to regard the march of progress as a progressive movement from primitive ideas to clarity of truth, but there is perhaps nowhere in science where this belief is as misleading, as within the medical sciences. In order to appreciate the nature of our current cultural beliefs and the limitations of current medical 'understandings', it is essential to be acquainted with the origins and progressions of our assumptions, beliefs, and models of understanding. 


Module 1 

ekgweek1 1  - A Brief History of Medicine c.400BC - renaissance Europe  | Hippocratic Dogmatic Medicine | Humorism | Galen on the Circulation 

 week 2 - Galen to Vesalius & Harvey | The Circulation - the heart, the pulmonary and systemic circulations | Anatomy of the heart, heart valves and valvular disorders, congenital anatomic anomolies of the heart | An introduction to Complex Systems 

 week 3 - Electrical activity of the heart | An introduction to electrocardiography | Cardiac arrhythmias | Iatromechanism, Dualism; Vesalius to Descartes to Boerhaave; Leiden & Vienna 

week 4 The Circulatory System; Vascular Tissues & Pathologies 

 week 5 the lymphatic system | blood proteins | red blood cells, haemoglobin & oxygen transport 

week 6 the respiratory system 

week 7 homeostasis, resilience; control in complex systems | the regulation of blood pressure 

week 8 asthma | assessment of pulmonary | function type I hypersensitivity | the "heigene hypothesis” 

week 9 acute bronchitis. pneumonia, brondhiolitis | antibiotics | antibiotic resistance 

week 10 pneumonia,  congestive heart failure, pulmonary edema | pericarditis 

Module 2 

week 1 the kidneys | renal physiology - the renal glomerulus | the philosophy of iatromechanism | nephritic/nephrotic syndromes 

week 2 renal physiology - the renal tubule | the physiology of transport 

week 3 renal pathologies | electrolyte management 

week 4 the liver - anatomy & physiology | the hepatic portal system 

week 5 diseases of the liver;  viral hepatitis, alcoholic liver disease, fatty liver | biliary disease | portal hypertension, ascites 

week 6 the digestive system - part 1 - structure & mechanics | the enteric nervous system 

week 7 the digestive system - part 2 - function & physiology | digestive physiology 

week 8 the digestive system - part 3 - function & physiology | digestive physiology | bowel transit | "autointoxation' & the ileocoecal valve | "small intestine bacterial overgrowth” 

week 9 the digestive system - part 4 - gastrintestinal pathology | gastroesophageal reflux, pyloric stenosis, diverticulitis, gastritis peptic ulcer disease, celiac disease / gluten intolerance | "leaky gut”  

week 10 appendicitis & the acute abdomen 

Module 3 

week 1 the immune system, part 1 - innate & adaptive immunity | humoral & cell-mediated immunity | tissue macrophages, dendritic cells | major histocompatibility proteins & antigen presentation | B- & T-lymphocytes; development & maturation | the gut & immune function 

week 2 the immune system, part 2 - part 1 topics, continued 

week 3 the immune system, part 3 - inflammation the complement system 

week 4 clotting / coagulation | atherosclerosis 

week 5 the nervous system - overview 

week 6 the motor nervous system structure, anatomical organization | spinal reflexes 

week 7 the motor nervous system | the muscle spindle apparatus | spinal reflexes | central planning & coordination | myofascial pain & dysfunction 

week 8 Parkinson's Disease 

week 9 Connective tissue - cartilage tendon, ligament 

week 10 bone - osteoblast/osteoclast activity & regulation | calcium management/regulation | ossification & bone modeling | fracture healing | exercise & bone | osteoporosis 

Module 4 

week 1 the axial skeleton 

week 2 musculature of the axial skeleton 

week 3 muscle structure & physiology 

week 4 the hip & pelvic girdle 

week 5 Skeletal anatomy & musculature of the lower extremity 

week 6 the shoulder girdle 

week 7 the upper extremity 

week 8 Introduction to the Endocrine System | the hypothalamus & pituitary gland | the adrenal gland | the adrenal medulla 

week 9 the neuro-endocrine axis | the adrenal cortex | Cushing's Syndrome | Addison's Disease | "adrenal fatigue” 

week 10 the thyroid | iodine deficiency, cretinism, Hashimoto's thyroiditis,  Grave's Disease 

Module 5 

week 1 - the pancreas & pancreatic endocrine hormones | regulation of blood sugar | the sugar/lipid connection | glycemic index | whole grains vs.milled flour | dietary fructose | diabetes mellitus, types I & II 

week 2 melatonin & circadian rhythms  

week 3 oxidative stress / antioxidants

week 4 reproductive endocrinology | the menstrual cycle, menarche, menopause 

week 5 menstrual & reproductive pathology 

week 6 cardiovascular endocrinology 

week 7 the gut as a complex endocrine organ

week 8 genetics, gene expression, epigenetics 

week 9 tba / loose ends 

week 10 wrap-up & farewell

Registration for module 1 ($300 US)

Registration for complete series, modules 1-5 ($1400 US; $100 savings over purchase of the individual modules)

Last modified: Thursday, 14 May 2015, 10:37 PM