Interview by Tutti Gould, ND
Dr. David Wember uses more than mere medicine in his practice, he uses intention. "Between the healer and the patient, it is the intention that counts," he says. Of course, sometimes the mind needs a little nudge, and homeopathy is his way of helping it along the desired path. "Homeopathy is only one way; it has to be health with a sense of love. If you have that communion with a patient, they are going to get better," says the 68year-old physician who has been practicing for over 30 years.
Dr. Wember did not originally intend to be a doctor. "I come from a Jewish background and my mother wanted me to be a doctor. In my senior year in college I had no thought of studying medicine, but something happened-I think it was a biology class-and wow, I liked it, and then I changed. I started to move towards medicine; I wanted to be able to help, I wanted to serve people, to help them on their way."
As happens with many people, he became curious about homeopathy through his children. "I got into homeopathy when my children were little, one and two," he says. "My kids were always sick with earaches, colds, fevers, and a new friend gave us some bottles for cough and cold. I didn't know what they were, I didn't know what homeopathy was at that time-I was in my residency then-but we used them."
After a year, his wife pointed out how their children's health had improved, and that he should look more deeply into homeopathy. So he called Dr. Maisemond Panos for an appointment. That was in 1971. "She saw the whole family two at a time; what a privilege to have seen her. I liked what she said and I liked the questions she asked: she was very personal, more than most, so I kept that in mind," he says. Dr. Panos invited him to attend a conference on homeopathy that spring, which is where he met his other main mentor Dr. Henry Williams. It made an impression. "I felt akin to what he was saying even though I didn't really understand homeopathy." Dr. Wember then joined a layman's league of homeopathy which sponsored him for a two-week summer course, where he met and discussed with many knowledgeable practitioners. That changed the course of his career, and now Dr. Wember uses "90 percent homeopathy, and some supplements." Even though he can legally prescribe drugs, he usually doesn't. "I tell people I am not against drugs, I am against their indiscriminate use," he says. Dr. Wember is a practitioner who knows what he is good at, and will refer his patients to other physicians for anything out of his scope, or specialized treatment or diagnosis. He says that he likes his patients to have their own gynecologist, pediatrician, primary care physician. But his motto is "if there are any problems, see me first."
He is fond of searching for the exact remedy for the patient, which often leads him into the realm of the lesser-known, or used, remedies. This is evident in his talks A New Look at Old Remedies and My favorite Little Known Remedies. (http://www.drwember.com/presentation.php)
He describes the case of a woman in her late forties who was under marital stress and went into sudden menopause as well as developing psoriasis, a skin condition which has a reputation of being difficult to heal. "I gave Manganum 200c and the psoriasis disappeared in two weeks." Of course, it did not cure her marital problems, but she felt more capable in dealing with them.
Dr. Wember says he often asks his patients: "Do you believe in miracles?" Most people say yes, so he urges them to cultivate a positive attitude. "I start them with hope and positive expectations, and the rest I leave to homeopathy," says the doctor, who has been described as "alert and extremely warm". He says that the patient is an active player in the healing process.
"The homeopathic remedies open the blockages with the patient; what the patient does once they are open is up to them." But he does feel that his role is to "shake them up, to change how they think". He is referring to the Law of Attraction: that when people think positively, this will bring about positive things in their lives.
"The law of attraction interests me and in the near future my wife and I are working on giving seminars and study groups on it," Wember says. He sees it as a skill that needs to be developed, which he has witnessed in his daily life. "Every day things come about that I have been thinking of. The more you learn and do it, the more it happens." Dr. Wember and his wife are working on a book of poetry on the Law of Attraction. "It's fun and it will make a lot of difference to people," he says.
All this positive thinking has made Dr. Wember optimistic-yet realistic-about the future of homeopathy. "I think homeopathy will get larger and larger, but I don't think homeopathy will be a dominant system of medicine," he says. "It will have a larger place along with holistic medicine. In the last 10-15 years everyone and his brother are teaching homeopathy, and everyone and his brother are homeopaths, and it is getting diluted. You can get a combination for sinus in the grocery store, but the true essence of homeopathy is getting diluted. The true homeopaths in the general population have only grown a little bit," says Wember, who was the dean of the National Center for Instruction in Homeopathy and Homeotherapeutics for five years.
Here is one doctor who practices what he preaches. "I love homeopathy, it's part of my life, and I will continue doing it as long as I continue to enjoy it."
With thanks to copy editor Michelle Decare