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The Doctor of Holistic Medicine program at Nyarkotey College of Holistic Medicine: What goes into it?

By Raphael Nyarkotey Obu

Who is a Doctor of Holistic Medicine and what really goes into their education? Who regulates them and their education in Ghana?
Is there a school in Ghana and Africa training them? These are very important questions people asked.
Background of the School:
The Nyarkotey College of Holistic Medicine is Africa’s first alternative Medicine University and affiliated to Da Vinci College of Holistic Medicine, Larnaca city, Cyprus. The Nyarkotey College of Holistic Medicine has a simple mission to help train qualified practitioners in the field of alternative medicines to meet international standard to improve the health system in Ghana. The college offers Doctor of Holistic Medicine, Master and Doctor of science in Holistic Medicine with its partner; Da Vinci College of Holistic Medicine blending classroom and distance learning. Holistic Medical Practitioners uses Western medical sciences as a foundation on which to build a thorough knowledge of holistic, non-toxic therapies, and to develop skills in diagnosis, disease prevention, and wellness optimization.
Also to research into evidence based natural medicines in Ghana to bring into the medical fraternity, propagate and promote evidence –based alternative medicines. The field of specialty of the college is Holistic medicine which embraces both conventional standard approaches and alternative medicines to treat patients.
The vision of the college is to become the leading and sought after Holistic Medical University in Africa.

Aims & Objectives of the Programme
The Doctor of Holistic Medicine is a professional degree combining the study of the many natural modalities which can be used to work with clients. The effectiveness of these treatments are pure and simple – they help to prevent dis-ease and achieve optimal health. By completing this Doctor of Holistic Medicine the students will gain the specialist skills needed to become a Registered Holistic Medical Practitioner using evidence based natural therapies and standard conventional approaches/diagnostic skills in helping their clients.

Job Description:
A holistic physician is a comprehensive role within the medical world. Holistic doctors serve as a primary care physician for their patients. … Holistic physicians care for their patients through a variety of alternative techniques and methods that are in coordination with holistic healing principles.
The educational prerequisites and then on-the-job responsibilities are similar to that of a traditional physician, but with a focus on more natural and healthy ways of healing. Holistic physicians care for their patients through a variety of alternative techniques and methods that are in coordination with holistic healing principles. Holistic doctors must look at the patient’s entire health, including mental or emotional factors, to assess the proper diagnosis and associated treatment plan. More and more patients are turning to holistic physicians as their primary care doctors, and this means that there is a necessity for holistic physicians to be well-versed in many different areas. This means that one of the responsibilities of a holistic physician involves a great deal of research and keeping up with trends and studies in the industry.
Holistic physicians look for the root cause of the illness, ailment, or health condition, which may be found in a seemingly unrelated issue or in something the patient experienced years before. Holistic doctors search to find any imbalance in the body, and search to find out if any outside factors are contributing to the patient’s condition. They work with patients on ways to actually heal the condition, rather than to just mask the symptoms, and this may demonstrate a bulk of their responsibilities.
Basic Job Description:
Diagnose, treat, and help prevent diseases using a system of practice that is based on the natural healing capacity of individuals.
Job Duties and Tasks for: “Holistic Medicine Physician”

Perform mobilizations and high-velocity adjustments to joints or soft tissues, using principles of massage, stretching, or resistance.
Maintain professional development through activities such as post-graduate education, continuing education, preceptorships, and residency programs.
Order diagnostic imaging procedures such as radiographs (x-rays), ultrasounds, mammograms, and bone densitometry tests, or refer patients to other health professionals for these procedures.
Administer treatments or therapies, such as Naturopathy, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, Oriental or Ayurvedic medicine, using physical agents including air, heat, cold, water, sound, or ultraviolet light to catalyze the body to heal itself.
Administer, dispense, or prescribe natural medicines such as food or botanical extracts, herbs, dietary supplements, vitamins, nutraceuticals, and amino acids.
Advise patients about therapeutic exercise and nutritional medicine regimens.
Conduct physical examinations and physiological function tests for diagnostic purposes.
Interview patients to document symptoms and health histories
Educate patients about health care management.
Treat minor cuts, abrasions, or contusions.
Document patients’ histories, including identifying data, chief complaints, illnesses, previous medical or family histories, or psychosocial characteristics.
Consult with other health professionals to provide optimal patient care, referring patients to traditional health care professionals as necessary.
Report patterns of patients’ health conditions, such as disease status and births, to public health agencies.
Monitor updates from public health agencies to keep abreast of health trends.
Conduct periodic public health maintenance activities such as immunizations and screenings for diseases and disease risk factors.
Obtain medical records from previous physicians or other health care providers for the purpose of patient evaluation.
Employment Prospects of Students:
With the movement toward a healthier and more natural way of living, holistic medicine continues to gain attention. More patients are turning to holistic physicians to heal their ailments, and this means that there are more job opportunities available. More patients want to rely on this natural way of dealing with medical conditions, and that means there is a great increase in the demand for holistic physicians. More medical facilities are offering holistic healing and related services, and this too contributes to potential job opportunities.
The typical working environment for a holistic physician is typical to a traditional medical doctor’s office, but it is definitely more calm and relaxing. As holistic physicians work to analyze, deal with, and treat issues related to the physical, mental, and emotional states, there is a necessity for a calm environment. There are usually exam or treatment rooms that holistic physicians work within, and they have their own comfortable office to work within as well. They may travel to different facilities as the need dictates and certainly will travel to any seminars or training that takes place. Holistic physicians may have a need to travel to a hospital or medical facility if a patient requires the type of care only able to be found there.

Projected Enrolment Statistics:
Thirty students per semester
Title of Course
Doctor of Holistic Medicine
Certification & Licensure
Doctor of Holistic Medicine practitioners SHALL be licensed as ‘Holistic Medical Practitioners’ by the Traditional Medicine Practice Council of the Ministry of Health, the body mandated by law to regulate them in Ghana. The TMPC organizes professional license examination to successfully qualified students. Successfully qualified students who passed the professional exams are registered by the council to practice Holistic Medicine.

Entry Requirements:
The following qualifications are accepted for entry:
• Senior Secondary School Certificates (SSSCE/WASSSCE)
• Baccalaureate (French)
• International Baccalaureate (IB)
• GCE (Cambridge) – ‘O’ and ‘A’ Levels
• IGCSE (Cambridge) – ‘O’ and ‘A’ levels
• American High School Grade – Grade 12 and 13 examinations
• Any other external qualifications which have equivalences to the SSSCE/WASSCE as determined by the National Accreditation Board.
Prospective students should have obtained Aggregate 12 or better in 6 subjects in the WASSCE/SSSCE examinations. They should have passes in the core subjects: English, Mathematics, Integrated Science, Social Studies, and three elective subjects (Chemistry, Biology, Physics or Elective Mathematics).
Candidates who satisfy the general requirements for admission under the “A” Level of the G.C.E. or its equivalence in Science (Physics, Chemistry and Biology/Mathematics) with a maximum aggregate of seven (7).
All undergraduates shall enter at Level 100 (first year) of the programme.

Graduate Entry
NCOHM will give university degree holders with good qualifications as undergraduates the opportunity to pursue holistic medicine at the graduate level. Graduate students with a good first degree (minimum of a second class upper) in a science discipline or in “liberal arts” who had taken university level science course and whose background qualifications would have entitled them to be admitted into a university undergraduate science program, would normally will be admitted subject to the results of an entrance examination and interview. The level of entrance of graduate students will be determined by the student’s background as follows:
Graduate students with a background in any science discipline will enter at level 200 (the second year) of NCOHM. They will however still have to take selected Level 100 (first year) College compulsory courses. “Liberal arts” graduates, as defined above, will enter at level 100 (first year).
All Applicants
All applicants will be required to write and pass an entrance examination and go through interviews before being offered admission. The interview will also confirm their level of admission and any other exemption requirements. The interview panel will include representatives from the Traditional Medicine Practice council of the Ministry of Health; the government body mandated to regulate the practice of traditional and Alternative Medicine in Ghana.
All applicants are expected to be computer literate and to be able to use tablets, access Internet database
Duration of the Course
Five (5) years
Teaching Methodology and Assessment
Question and Answer
Group Discussion
Case studies
Annual public lecture with renowned guests as visiting lectures
Take home assignment
Mid-semester exam
End of semester exam
The Doctor of Holistic Medicine will include a unique dissertation of 5,000 words that adds to the existing literature and is publishable in the college peer reviewed journal
Course Structure

SEMESTER 1 JUNE – SEPTEMBER, 2018 Anatomy & Physiology I
Clinical Biochemistry I
Medical Terminology
Communication Skills
First Aid
Medical Ethics and Law
BOHM 101
NURC 103
NURC 105
NURC 107
NURC 109
NURC 111
NURC 113

SEMESTER 2 FEBRUARY – MAY, 2019 Anatomy & Physiology II
Clinical Biochemistry II
Introduction to Public Health & community Medicine
Laboratory investigations & Physical examinations
Pathology for Natural Medicine I
Clinical Nutrition – A (I)
Naturopathic Medicine – A(I)

BHOM 102
NURC 104
NURC 106
NURC 108
BHOM 110
BHOM 112
BHOM 114


SEPTEMBER – DECEMBER, 2019 Pharmacology
Pathology for Natural Medicine I
Clinical Nutrition – A (II)
Naturopathic Medicine – A(II)
Western Herbal Medicine & Traditional Herbal Medicine I
Detoxification & Toxicology I
Medical Genetics
NURC 201
BHOM 203
BHOM 205
BHOM 207
BHOM 209
BHOM 211

SEMESTER 2 FEBRUARY – MAY, 2020 Hydrotherapy
Natural Child Birth & Obstetric Related Emergencies
Physical Medicine
Manipulative Therapy
Western Herbal Medicine & Traditional Herbal Medicine II
Detoxification & Toxicology II
Microbiology & Immunology
NURC 202
NURC 204
NURC 206
BHOM 208
BHOM 210


Environmental Medicine & Parenteral Therap
Energy Medicine & Bioresonance I
Bach Flower Remedies I
Forensic Medicine
Su Jok
Medical Physics NURC 301
NURC 303
BHOM 305
BHOM 307
Yoga Science
Energy Medicine & Bioresonance II
Bach Flower Remedies II
Homeopathic Medicine I
Clinical Nutrition – B(I)
Psychosocial counselling & Mental Health
Microanatomy & Histology
NURC 302
BHOM 304
BHOM 306
BHOM 308
BHOM 310


SEMESTER 1 SEPTEMBER- DECEMBER 2021 Homeopathic Medicine II
Clinical Nutrition – B(II)
Naturopathic Medicine – B(I)
Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis I
Live Blood Analysis
Health Administration
Practice Management

Research I
BHOM 401
BHOM 403
BHOM 405
BHOM 407
NURC 409

SEMESTER 3 FEBRUARY– MAY, 2022 Naturopathic Medicine – B(II)
Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis II
Introduction to Minor Surgery
Information Technology
Urine Analysis and Body Fluids
Cell biology and Embryology
Research II BHOM 402
BHOM 404


SEMESTER 4 & 5 SEPTEMBER 2022- MAY, 2023
Family Medicine
Holistic management in pediatric care
Holistic Geriatric
Holistic Urology & Nephrology
Naturopathic Sexology
Hematology & Integrative Oncology
Chiropractic Care
Emergency Medicine
Gastroenterology & Colon Hygiene/ proctology
Cardiology & Pulmonology
Metabolism & Endocrinology
Thesis BHOM 501

Course Objectives/Expected outcomes

Health problems seen today are often too complex for any one of these alternative medicines healing modalities to do it justice – often the therapist needs to combine different treatments in a complex combination in order to allow the body to heal. This is the premise of Holistic Medicine training – looking at the body as a whole on many different levels and applying a varied knowledge-base to really help the person recover. The Nyarkotey College of Holistic Medicine has been structured to be able to cover the wide range of natural medicine courses in order to provide a truly HOLISTIC approach.

For the prospective practitioner; in order to help people with anything from headaches to cancer, then holistic medicine is the ideal. The cutting-edge natural medicine courses are unique when compared to other colleges and schools because of the broad coverage of material that goes way beyond any one healing modality. The College is different from the many other alternative medicine schools offering natural medicine courses: Most of the alternative medicine schools offering alternative medicine courses will do so in only one field or modality; so the students will get a course in homeopathy, or one in herbal medicine, or in naturopathy, acupuncture, flower remedies and so on. These are individual natural medicine courses that will help the potential practitioner to specialize in this one particular only subject. The college program is very unique embedded with conventional standard medical education and diagnosis to help the students practice holistic medicine confidently. The expected outcome is that; it provides the practitioner or student with many different tools and protocols to use in clinical practice that go far beyond any one modality.

Course/Subject References

Text Book of Natural Medicine by Joseph E. Pizzorno and Michael T. Murray 4th Edition
Encyclopedia HYPERHEALTH PRO – the most comprehensive database on natural health presently available

Grading System and Certification CLASS Designation
70-100 A Excellent 70.00-100.00 First Class
60-69 B Very Good 60.00- 69.99 Second Class (Upper Division)
50-59 C Good 50.00- 59.99 Second Class (Lower Division)
40-49 D Satisfactory 45.00- 49.99 Pass
0-39 F Fail 0.00-44.99 Fail

Certificate to be awarded:

Doctor of Holistic Medicine

The certificate is a joint cosigned certificate with Da Vinci College of Holistic Medicine, Larnaca city, Cyprus

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