Review on Clinical Repertory by Dr J H Clarke

Dr.Jubin    BHMS,MD(Hom)
Medical Officer, Department of Homoeopathy, Govt of Kerala

They are those repertories which contain clinical symptoms or conditions and corresponding group of medicines. They facilitate the selection of a remedy on the basis of pathological similarity, causation, modalities and concomitants. They are not commonly used for the purpose of repertorization. However these repertories can be used for cases where clinical conditions mask the characteristics of the patient. In such cases the physician finds the prominent common symptoms with a few modalities and concomitants. These cases need the help of clinical repertories for selecting the simillimum.

Origin Of The Concept Of Clinical Repertories :
In spite of emphasis on individualization and prescription based on characteristic expressions, the emergence of clinical repertories could not be prevented in homoeopathic practice as early as Hahnemann times. The grouping of medicines according to the name of diseases, though discouraged by many stalwart gave birth to clinical repertories. The greatest modern exponent of this practice is the late Dr. J. Crompton Burnett, who has brought once more to light the vast therapeutic treasures which had been forgotten in the works of our great masters. The use of nosological correspondence is one method by means of which a similar, if not the most similar, remedy may be discovered.

All ways of finding indications are open to practitioners and the clinical avenue is one of them. J.H.Clarke has described it like this “ Certain diseases come to have certain remedies assigned to them and all patients who are found to be suffering from any given disease must be dosed with one of the remedies credited to it”. Master Hahnemann was certainly not happy with such kind of practice, he described it as , “Treating the names of the diseases with names of therapeutic actions”. Such a kind of practice was much favoured by Dr. J. Crompton Burnett. He expre3sses it as “ The fact is, we need any and every way of finding the right remedy, the simple simile, the simple symptomatic simillimum and the furthest reach of all—the pathological simillimum, and I maintain that we are still within the lines of Homoeopathy that is an expansive, progressive science”.

As early as in 1869 Bell’s diarrhoea and 1873 Berridge’s Eye, two very useful clinical regional repertories were published. Though the concept of such practice was conceived by Burnett he could not compile a separate repertory for that purpose and hence the credit of authoring the first clinical repertory goes to J.H.Clarke.

There are many clinical repertories available these days, but two of them are well known as General Clinical Repertories. They are A Clinical Repertory by J.H.Clarke and Materia Medica with Repertory by O.E.Boericke. There are many useful regional repertories which help the practitioners to find the similar remedy.

Scope and Limitation
Though they have not been put to their fullest utility, these are very useful too of the scope and limitations are properly understood and implemented in practice.

Scope :
1. Clinical repertories can be used in the study of Homoeopathic therapeutics as well as Materia Medica.
2. They help to repertories the following types of cases
a. Cases lacking in mental generals and physical generals but rich in common symptoms.
b. Cases with clinical diagnosis.
c. Short cases with very a few symptoms.
3. They are used as quick reference books at the bedside.
4. Clinical repertories contain some rubrics, which are not found in other general repertories, so they can become a good companion in the study of such rubrics.
5. Clinical repertories help us to find the most appropriate palliative medicine in incurable cases.
6. Regional repertories help in finding out the simillimum in a specific clinical condition.

Limitation :
Clinical repertories are bases on nosological terms and clinical symptoms, which are the result of clinical observations hence their use is limited to particular type of cases. They are mainly used for reference work.