Help and Frequently-asked Questions


WillAbout Will:

I trained as a family practice physician (M.D.) at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, and subsequently completed a family practice residency ay St. Mary's hospital in Milwaukee Wisconsin, affiliated with the Medical College of Wisconsin (Marquette University).  I practiced several years as a conventional family physician in Western and coastal Maine prior to discovering my calling in homeopathic medicine, which brought me first to a practice devoted to homeopathy in Blue Hill Maine and subsequently to 11 years teaching as chair of the department of homeopathy in the Naturopathic curriculum at the National College of Natural Medicine in Portand, Oregon.  I has also served as a founding and core faculty member of The School of Homeopathy New York, and as core instructor in a postgraduate program for the Czech Homeopathic Medical Society in Prague, Czech Republic.  I have been a popular presenter at homeopathic conferences in the U.S. and Europe, and have been presenting online courses in affiliation with Kim Elia of WholeHealthNow for several years.


Is Will's orientation Classical Homeopathy?

I actually don't like using that term, as it is applied rather broadly and confusingly by many with rather diverse orientations to homeopathic philosophy and practice, some of which are not very "classical" at all. I like to describe my orientation as "Roots" homeopathy, adhering closely to the foundational principles and practices laid down by Hahnemann and his close colleagues, and avoiding the more fanciful introductions of many contemporary teachers.



Does Will do long-distance consultations?

No.  

[1] I am devoting my time to teaching, which I hope will improve your access to well-trained local homeopathic practitioners.

[2] I firmly believe that it is not possible to provide competent homeopathic or other medical services at a distance, via questionnaires, phone and/or videoconferenced consultation, and i would dissuade anyone from attempting to seek care in this manner.  I think we can all recognize how this might compromise an adequate collection of essential information, and I cannot but help channelling Hahnemann (in his characteristic ruthlessness), from his essay The Medical Observer:  "The most important of all human vocations, I mean the observation of the sick, and of the infinite varieties of their disordered state of health, can only be pursued in such a superficial and careless manner by those who despise mankind ... "


How are these courses presented?

I offer both live, webinar-based courses and pre-recorded, self-paced (asynchronous) courses that you can work through at your own pace (hence "self-paced").

The webinar-based courses meet online generally weekly (usually a weekday evening for 2 hours, from 5-7pm US Pacific time) in Webinar format, using Citrix GoToWebinar / GoToMeeting web conferencing software software; you will view a slideshow which I narrate live, and will be able to text your questions or comments to our moderator via the webinar platform for my in-time response, or ask for the mic to interact live.  Handouts, Cases and supporting materials are posted on the course support page on this site prior to and following each live session, along with an online discussion forum for questions and comments that occur to you outside of the live sessions.  Online self-scoring quizzes are available following each session for self-review and documentation of participation, which is provided via Mozilla Open Badges automatically issued on course completion, as well as via a Document of Participation letter, downloadable in printable .pdf format, once all course materials are completed.  Sessions are recorded in streaming video format, and recordings are posted on the course page for those who wish to review the material, or who may need to miss a session, as well as for those who choose to work through the course on their own time schedule (see self-paced courses, below). Your enrollment will provide you with 6 months' access to all online course materials (4 years for the AP&P modules & for the Foundations Program).

Self-paced couses may be produced offline purely for self-paced participation, or may involve recordings of previously-aired live sessions; and you may participate in any of our live courses on you own time schedule in self-paced manner.  Recordings are posted in  HTML pseudo streaming format, which will stream in a web browser on standard computers and on mobile devices running iOS or Android.  Self-paced courses most often do not include an instructor-moderated discussion forum, but otherwise include the same features as our live courses.


I'd like to register for a course, but I don't have a PayPal account

No worries!  You don't need one.  You can sign up with a credit or debit card, using PayPal as the payment processor for the transaction.  You'll see this option when you visit the PayPal transaction page.


I don't want to use PayPal, for Security reasons; is there another way to pay for your courses?

Sadly, there are many rumors surrounding online security; many are true, but many are manufactured out of misunderstandings.
I have chosen PayPal as a payment processor both for its exceptional security (both yours and mine) and for convenience.  Note that you do not need to have a PayPal account, but may use your credit or debit card, with PayPal serving as the payment processor for the transaction.  Enrollment in my courses is automatic, immediately on completion of the PayPal transaction.


What are the technical requirements to participate in the homstudies.com online courses?

[1] a computer - using Mac, PC/Windows, or Linux operating systems (this site and our Webconferencing service are also configured to work with mobile devices - iPad, Windows or Android tablets and smartphones, using the Adobe Connect Mobile APP on your mobile device, although webinar and video clarity will of course be compromised on small-screen devices).

[2] see https://helpx.adobe.com/adobe-connect.html for the technical requirements for our live Webinar service (Adobe Connect).  We highly recommend a good set of external speakers or a headset for you computer to provide optimal audio quality.  A headset will permit you to participate in live discussion, avoiding feedback and minimizing background noise; I particularly like this one; inexpensive, comfortable for long sessions, with excellent audio quality.

[3] a contemporary internet browser (Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer) in the latest version supported on your system.

[4] On Flash-enabed devices ("normal" Mac, Windows or Linux  destop- or laptop computers), the latest version of the Adobe Flash Player for your operating system (a free download; generally pre-installed on contmporary platforms).  Not required for iOS or Android mobile devices, as video is presented differently on these devices.

[5] a high-speed internet connection (DSL or cable); min. download bandwidth 1 Mb/sec. (test your actual download bandwidth at https://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest/ - it will not always be the "up-to" speed promised by your internet service provider).  If using a wireless network or other shared connection, avoid sharing you connection with other users and thereby degrading your bandwidth while participating in webinar session or viewing videos.

[6] a .PDF viewer; the built-in Preview application will suffice on a Mac; in Windows, we recommend  FoxIt Reader, a free download from FoxIt software.

[7] For best video performance, we recommend that you maintain your hard drive at never more than 2/3 its full capacity, and if using a Windows operating system with a standard (non-SSD) hard drive, that you optimize (defragment) your hard drive weekly using the built-in disk optimization software



I've forgotten my username or password to the site! How can I get access to the course page?

Easy peasy.  I cannot look up your password for you, as this is encrypted for your security.  But the site can automatically issue you a new temporary password, and permit you to then change this to one of your own choosing, which you can then write down in a safe place.

In the login block on the main page, click the "Forgotten your username or password?" link, and provide EITHER you username OR your email address, and follow the directions provided on the ensuing pages and in the email messages sent automatically to your address.  Note that this will use the email address recorded in your site user profile - the one you used when you registered for the site unless you have updated it following any changes .  If you cannot find the emailed messages involved in the password reset process (they will be sent out immediately), check your SPAM folder, and be certain to have access to the email account registered in your user profile on the site.


[1] The video stops & starts repeatedly instead of playing smoothly

This can result from 
- a slow internet connection, 
- other computers sharing your intent connection,
- or other running processes demanding resources on your computer

Solutions:
- If you have a teenaged son gaming in the basement, get him a good book (right!)
- Check the speed (bandwidth) of your internet connection, at 
   http://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest/ (it does not matter which city 
   you select for your test).  Note that actual download bandwidths are not
   always the "up-to" speeds promised by internet service providers.
   Our videos should stream smoothly at a download bandwidth of 1 Mbps or better.
- If you cannot improve your internet bandwidth, do this:
  Start the video playing, then Pause it, and go make tea, which will let the video
  "buffer" in the background.
  When you return, the video should stream smoothly.
  If it does not, Pause it again, and go make scones to go with your tea.
  If it is still starting & stopping to buffer after the scones, Pause it again,
  and make some biscotti.

This is most commonly an issue with the "pseudostreaming" video links, which are intended for mobile devices.  If this is occurring with the .rtmp true streaming links, it is more difficult to resolve, short of improving your internet connection.  In that case, use the Pseudostreaming video links (which actually will play on any device), with the tea/scones solution above.


[2] The video stops partway through, always in the same place, and refuses to continue playing

This occurs with the Pseudostreaming version of the video, when there is insufficient contiguous free space on your device to fully buffer the video.  It should not occur with the .rtmp true streaming version of the video, so if you are using a device which is capable of streaming .rtmp video (any standard computer or laptop), use the .rtmp link instead.

You'll need to clear up some free space ( at least 500 MB) on your device, to provide sufficient space for our rather large videos to buffer - this may require removing removing unused apps or archiving files that you no longer or seldom use to a backup drive.

If you are using a Windows computer, and wish to use the Pseudostreaming links rather than the .rtmp links for some reason, you may run into this problem even tho it appears that you have sufficient free space on your hard drive.  This free space, on a Windows system, can be fragmented into a number of smaller chunks of free memory, none large enough to buffer the video.  In this case, you'll need to defragment your hard drive.  To do this, (1) First, remove unnecessary programs and files, or archive seldom-used files to an external hard drive, so that your primary hard drive is no more than 2/3 full; (2) Run the built-in Windows Defragmentation application (find this in the Applications/Utilities folder).  The first time you run this, it might need to run overnight, or even for a couple of days, if the disk was particularly full and badly fragmented; (3) Keep your hard drive now never more than 2/3 full, and (4) Run the Defragmentation application every week or two (these runs will now only take a few minutes).  These last two points are "good practice" for any Windows system equipped with a standard (non-SSD) hard drve, and you'll see much improved performance of your system in many respects if you follow them.


[3] I'm using an iPad (or other mobile device), and the videos will not play

Be sure to use the 2nd link provided for the video, labeled "Pseudostreaming - for mobile devices".  iPads and other mobile devices do not yet support .rtmp streaming video, and need instead to use our .html pseudostreaming link.

See also FAQs 1 & 2, above


[4] I cannot open the downloaded files

First - Be sure to download our files with only a simple single click on the link.
Don't use a right-click (control-click) "save as" command - this will not work on our files, as this will only result in a blank .php file, and not the actual document you wish to download.

Make sure your .pdf reader is up to date.  
We recommend using
- for Mac, the built-in Preview application
- for Windows, Foxit Reader http://www.foxitsoftware.com/Secure_PDF_Reader/ 
  (we think you'll like this much better than the default Adobe Acrobat Reader) 

Many of our files - especially our Handouts - are rather large, and occasionally may be broken in the download process, especially on a slow internet connection or one that winks off & on during the download process.  If you've received a broken or corrupted .pdf file, try completely deleting it (this is important), and then downloading again.

A download manager (e.g. the DownThemAll plugin for firefox) will help avoid broken downloads due to interrupted connection.

If you're using an iPad to work with our site, it might be a great idea to drop in to the local Apple store and get a crash course on downloading, organizing and working with downloaded files on an iPad, as file management is rather different than on a regular computer.


[5] I can't figure out how to download the videos

We don't intend the videos to be downloadable; these are versions optimized for streaming on the 'web, and you may return to this site any time during your enrolment period (4 years for AP&P and the Foundational Program, 6 months for continuing education courses)to review them.


[6] The software changes my answers on the quizzes!

You are most likely using the down-arrow key to move from question to question.  In some (not all) browsers, the answer you selected retains focus for the arrow keys, so rather than moving down to the next question, the arrow key first moves your response to the next choice in the list.  Don't use the arrow keys to move down to the next question - instead, use the scroll bar to progress through the quiz.




Last modified: Monday, 23 May 2016, 10:11 AM