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HOMEOPATHY

HOMEOPATHY, founded by German physician Samuel Christian Frederick Hahnemann, is a therapeutic drug specialty within the general field of internal medicine. Guided by the principle that that which causes a disease can also cure it, homeopathy profoundly affected 19th century medical practice, ending "shotgun prescriptions" and introducing elements of conservatism to dominant medical theories. Homeopathic physicians started to trickle into Ohio ca. 1836, practicing in smaller cities because of their poor reception among "regular" (allopathic) physicians in larger cities. Among the more well-known local homeopaths were Seth R. Beckwith, with a large Cleveland practice as physician and surgeon to RAILROADS; Benjamin L. Hill, one of the founders of the Western Homeopathic College of Cleveland; and Hamilton Fisk Biggar, nationally known medical advisor and intimate friend of JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER. B. H. Bartlett opened the first homeopathic pharmacy in Cleveland in 1846, at the corner of Superior Ave. and PUBLIC SQUARE.

Homeopathy depended upon teaching institutions for its survival. In 1850 the Western Homeopathic College of Cleveland was founded, the second such institution in the country. The school underwent a series of name changes between its founding and the 1890s: Western College of Homeopathy (1856); Western Homeopathic College (1860); Cleveland Homeopathic College (1864); CLEVELAND HOMEOPATHIC HOSPITAL COLLEGE (1870); and Cleveland Homeopathic Medical College (1870-93). It pioneered in both NURSING, establishing the first nursing school west of the Alleghenies in 1884, and DENTISTRY, forming the first homeopathic school of dentistry in the country in the 1890s. In 1868 MYRA K. MERRICK founded an alternative institution, the Cleveland Homeopathic College and Hospital for Women. It transferred its property to the Cleveland Homeopathic Medical College in 1871, when that school began to accept women. In 1890 factionalism prompted half of the Cleveland Homeopathic Medical College faculty to resign and form the Cleveland Medical College to rival the established school, which became the Cleveland Univ. of Medicine and Surgery in 1893. The two reunited in 1897 and resumed the title Cleveland Homeopathic Medical College, which allied with the Pulte Medical College of Cincinnati in 1911 as the Cleveland-Pulte Medical College. In 1914 the institution became the Cleveland Pulte College of Homeopathy, within the medical school of Ohio State Univ. (OSU) in Columbus, OH. The formal instruction of homeopathy ended in Ohio in 1922 when OSU discontinued the program.

Since 1922 homeopathy has been taught by individual doctors on a graduate or postgraduate course basis.


Huron Rd. Hospital Records, Meridia Huron Hospital.

Lenahan, Kimberly. "Directed Decisions: Moral Authority and the Formation of Hospital Ethics Committees in Late Twentieth Century Cleveland," (Ph.D. diss., CWRU, 1994).

Dittrick Museum of Medical History Archives.