History of Homeopathy in Colombia

Homeopathy appears in Europe and is extended to Colombia finding as pioneer Dr. José Víctor Sanmiguel, medical doctor, who graduated in Spain and who also graduated as pharmacist in Bogotá. He began his studies on homeopathy as self-educated towards the year 1835 and afterwards he set up a group in order to study Hahnemann's doctirne. In 1837, together with Dr. Hipólito Villamil, Dr. Luis Hernando Álvarez Santillano, and his own son, Dr. José Peregrino Sanmiguel, they conceived a first attempt to formalize homeopathy with the foundation of the Instituto Homeopático de los Estados Unidos de Colombia (Homeopathic Institute of the United States of Colombia).

Towards the year 1850, the "freedom of teaching" with which the need of having a professional title to exert a profession except for pharmacy was eliminated. This "opportunity" is assumed by the homeopaths to be able to spread this science in informal manner. However, Doctor José Peregrino Sanmiguel constantly wrote articles and handbooks in defense of the use of homeopathy in rational manner. The Homeopathic Institute of Colombia (el Instituto Homeopático de Colombia), carried out several approaches to hospital institutions and to the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, recently created by the Colombian State.

Finally, the activity of Homeopathy is regulated in 1905 through Legislative Decree 592 and it is authorized to be practiced only by medical doctors who graduated from the Instituto Homeopático de Colombia.

In 1914, the Instituto Homeopático Luis G. Páez, was founded with the purpose of ‘stimulating the young people to study homeopathy', and carrying out a great task endeavoring the acknowledgement of the same as a medical specialization.

In 1962, Law 14 regulates the medical profession and acknowledges homeopathy as a way to apply medicine, referring to the medical homeopaths as follows: "as of the validity of this law, it may only be exerted by those who have received title of medical surgeon in a university authorized by the Colombian State";

On April 8, 1976 a group of homeopaths led by Dr. Marco Fidel Mosquera, created the Asociación Medico-Odontológica Homeopática de Colombia ‘ASMOHC "with the purpose of safeguarding for the development of the specialization in homeopathy, its professional ethics and organizing future training meetings with foreign teachers". Some years later, when the dentists withdrew from the association, it was now called Asociación Médico Homeopática de Colombia ‘ASMHOC'. Nowadays the Association renders outpatient services and complies with the purposes of defending the legal rights of the homeopath medical doctors and to safeguard the ethical pratice of the profession.

Dr. Juan de Dios Pinzón, Colombian medical doctor, who studied homeopathy in Mexico and who taught in the Instituto ‘Luis G. Páez', began teaching informal lessons with a specific approach from the semiological point of view. Finally in 1980 he separated and founded the Instituto Hahnemanianno de Homeopatía.

On March 24, 1980 Agreement 50 is signed, approved by the ICFES, and in force until our time, which besides allowing the entance of homeopathy to the medical university careers, it grants homeopathy the nature of medical specialization.

Dr. Carlos Santos Bohórquez, when ending his studies on homeopathy at the Institute, organized a study group on homeopathic Philosophy and thus the Fundación Hahnemann de Colombia was born "with the purpose of defending the orthodox homeopathy safeguarding the good homeopathic practice.

On the other hand, some teachers medical doctors from the Facultad de Medicina de la Universidad Nacional (Faculty of Medicine of the National University), made an incursion into the knowledge of Alternative Therapies and in the year 1999 they formed the "Academic Group in Alternative Medicine". Subsequently in the year 2001, the first course on "Extension on general foundations of Alternative Medicine" is taught with a total of 90 medical doctors enrolled, and taking into account the immense interest among the participants, the indepth courses on alternative therapies began. Finally in the year 2007 the Master's Degree on Alternative Medicine was born.

On March 2, 2010 and after much hard work, a group made up by students and graduates of the Master's Degree on Alternative Medicine - Area on Homeopathy led by Dr. John Eduardo Bastidas Meza, they founded a non-profit private entity that they named Asociación Colombiana de Homeopatía - ASCOHOM for its initials.

As of its incorporation date, this association assumed the right of meeting the governmental guidelines in that related to the quality of teching on homeopathy, the formation of human talent and also as scientific corporation to offer the support for the rendering of homeopathic medical attention with a high level of quality and ethics.

Within its achievements, one can see that only with two years, after having overcome numerous drawbacks and settling up the most demanding requirements, it has achieved being accpeted and acknoweldged as part of the Asociación Colombiana de Sociedades Científicas (Colombian Association of Scientific Corporations) giving fulfillment to all the regulations in force in our country.

Similarly, another of its achievements is the begining of the final approach of the homeopathic medical doctors at individual and group level vis-à-vis the International Homeopathy Medical League in order to eventually attain a better advancement of homeopathy in Colombia supported by the associations mentioned above.

Its members must have as requirement to be studying or having done studies at master's degree level, specialization or their equivalent to be incorporated as such. However, in view of backing the profession, those who are graduated medical doctors and who have done serious studies in the mentioned schools where they are received as affiliates with the commitment of updating and subsequent formation under the law of human talent that governs in the country.

ASCOHOM continues determined in strengthening education within the parameters of excellence and for this reason, it provides free updating conferences for all those interested in diverse topics. Likewise, it motivates those who work in favor of homeopathy by annually carrying out the updating conferences where their works are published, as long as they show the good fulfillment of the clinical practice and the minumum quality standards in the procedures with respect to Homeopathy.

In the year 2012 the Fundación Universitaria Escuela Colombiana de Medicina Homeopática "Luis G. Páez was born that nowadays offer the program of Specialist in Veterinary Homeopathy Medicine.

Gratitude to Dr. Alba Martilletti and Dr. Sandra Lucia Torres Valencia, who have permitted us to use the work they have gathered of graduate thesis to prepare this summary.

Andrea Delgado
General Secretary
Asociación Colombiana de Homeopatía