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Course Structure

Background to the Course

The Postgraduate Diploma in Unani-Tibb is based on the training that was established by the Ibn Sina Institute of Tibb, at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa in 2003. Accreditation/external moderation of the program will be overseen by the Aligarh Unani Medicine University, Uttar Pradesh, India.

We are also accredited by the Complementary Medical Association (UK), a prestigious membership which not only commands the highest standards of training but support for graduates leaving the school through Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) and Clinic promotion.

 

Admissions Criteria

The diploma course is aimed at the following:

  • Medical doctors.
  • Primary healthcare practitioners holding a university degree or equivalent, a licence to practice, professional indemnity Insurance and is in current practice.
Purpose of the course

This postgraduate diploma course is designed to provide you with additional diagnostic and therapeutic options for the management of the disease burden on the general population. Whilst Tibb can successfully treat acute conditions, it is especially suited for the amelioration of chronic disorders, particularly those arising from a dysfunctional lifestyle.

Tibb can be combined effectively with other systems of medicine, as Integrative Medicine wherein Tibb philosophical principles provide additional insights into aetiology, pathology, diagnosis and treatment, enabling you to provide comprehensive, cost effective holistic healthcare.

Overview of Tibb

Tibb is a system of healthcare based on the classical clinical precepts of the early pioneers of medicine – notably Hippocrates, Galen and Avicenna (aka Ibn Sina). Tibb remained the mainstay of medicine for many centuries, and was practiced all over the Western World until the end of the 19th century. Currently Tibb, as a recognised, regulated health modality is practiced in the Indian sub-continent. It has also been introduced in South Africa over the past two decades.

The constant theme running through Tibb theory and practice is equilibrium or harmony (homeostasis). This may present internally as the body’s metabolism, or externally as interaction with the environment. In this model Tibb regards health as a state of harmony, whereas disease reflects disharmony.

The Tibb system is fundamentally empirical in nature, as it draws extensively on clinical experience extending back several centuries. Even so, there is a large body of scientific evidence confirming the beneficial impact of Tibb therapy on a number of common, chronic disorders such as hypertension, bronchial asthma and diabetes.

Tibb is based on a number of cardinal concepts. One is that every person is unique, and this uniqueness is described as temperament. This is a measure of a person’s constitutional make-up, his or her personality, and typical behavioural tendencies combined. Although the concept of temperament goes back far into history, it is still drawn upon today in mental and physical therapy, psychological research and even education. In Tibb temperament is an important component in the diagnosis, treatment and possible recuperation of a person with a particular disorder.

The humoral theory is based on the hypothesis that each individual has an ideal humoral balance which is made up from the four humours. This unique balance has to be in harmony with the unique temperament of an individual for health to be maintained. The humours, produced in the liver from the food and drink consumed, are also four in number: sanguinous, phlegmatic, bilious and melancholic also with a combination of qualities of hot, cold, moist and dry.

Another key concept is physis. This is essentially the body’s inherent wisdom (the “doctor within”), manifesting as the body’s capacity to self-regulate and, when necessary, self-heal. This capacity helps maintain the body’s harmony in the face of internal metabolic and external environmental distortions that may progress to disease. Physis embraces a vast range of defensive, regulatory and regenerative processes. Tibb accepts that although we may apply treatment from the outside, true healing actually comes from within. Tibb therapy respects physis, so therefore focuses on supporting the “inner doctor” by a repertoire of dietary, behavioural, medicinal and therapeutic measures.

Yet another concept is that of lifestyle factors. This form of therapy (recently rediscovered and promoted in the developed world as lifestyle changes) is largely patient focused. It embraces a number of formal behavioural changes, agreed to by the patient. These include breathing exercises, dietary modification, resolution of emotional problems, elimination of toxins from the body, the judicious use of exercise or resting, and sleep hygiene.

Lastly, qualities, of heat, coldness, moistness, and dryness, are common to temperament, humours and lifestyle factors, and are also associated with most illnesses. Qualities form the metabolic basis of interpreting aetiology, pathology, diagnosis and treatment.

Tibb can stand alone as a practical and acceptable system of health maintenance and disease treatment. However, the Tibb paradigm is largely compatible with Western medicine; they both share a common ancestry. This compatibility confirms Tibb as a suitable partner in the practice of Integrative Medicine, when combined with Western medicine. In the treatment of acute diseases and emergencies, Western medicine would be the paradigm of choice, whereas in chronic disorders it would be Tibb. In addition, whereas Western medicine tends to address the symptoms, Tibb is more directed at identifying and nullifying the underlying causes and contributory factors. The two medical paradigms would therefore truly complement each other.

Teaching Objectives

There are two major objectives for the course:

  1. Understanding the theoretical aspects of Tibb

This is essential for the putative Tibb practitioner in order to provide a strong rationale for subsequent treatment of patients. This objective will be achieved by completing the following modules describing:

  • Module 1: Philosophy of Tibb.
  • Module 2: Aetiology in Tibb.
  • Module 3: Pathology in Tibb.
  • Module 4: Diagnosis in Tibb.
  • Module 5: Therapeutics in Tibb.
  • Module 6: Pharmacology, pharmacy and herbal medicine.
  1. Applying Tibb theoretical principles to commonly encountered clinical situations

Application of the theoretical principles on various illnesses associated with the different systems needs to be completed as case studies in your clinic during the second year of study. Practical demonstration of Tibb diagnostic and therapeutic techniques as well as interactive case study discussions will be conducted. Supervised clinical practice sessions will also be available at the Tibb clinics in Athens. Illnesses from the different systems in Module 7 (five sub-modules) will include the following:

  • Module 7A: Hepatic, Renal, Gastrointestinal and Metabolic disorders
  • Module 7B: Gynaecology, Andrology, and Paediatrics
  • Module 7C: Dermatology, Musculoskeletal, Immune/Infectious disorders and Geriatrics maintenance
  • Module 7D: Neurology and Psychiatry, ENT, Endocrinology, and Neoplasms
  • Module 7E: Cardiovascular, Respiratory and Haematological disorders
Learning outcomes

A number of outcomes are expected from the Tibb course:

Exit level outcomes:

Outcome 1:     examine, diagnose and treat a range of health problems presenting practitioners using a variety of Tibb methods and solutions.

Outcome 2:     prescribe and/or dispense basic herbal medicines and natural remedies, whilst being cognisant of the contraindications and possible conventional drug-remedy interactions.

Outcome 3:     plan and monitor the management of the lifestyle factors, nutritional therapeutics and eliminative therapies of Tibb.

Outcome 4:     counsel and advise on lifestyle modification and emotional support therapy.

Outcome 5:     communicate effectively, by oral, electronic and written means with other health care professionals and the general public.

Outcome 6:     sustain personal development and learning through continuous professional development and/or research programmes.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

The teaching and learning strategy is aimed at integrating Tibb principles to mature healthcare professionals, thus providing them with additional insights in their fields of expertise.

The teaching and learning approach for Modules 1-6, will be that after completing the theoretical aspects of each module, after which practical exercises will be completed in the students clinic setting  to ensure that the concepts covered in each module is implemented. This will be followed with a revision lecture/ seminar wherein the students present their clinical experience for class discussion.

The teaching and learning approach for the Illness Management Modules will be based on the completion of case studies wherein the philosophical principles underpinning, aetiology, pathology, diagnosis and treatment covered in modules 1-6, are implemented. A minimum of 50 case studies covering a variety of illnesses from the different systems are to be completed. Case study presentations will also be required for class discussion.

Research project (Module 8) based on the theoretical and practical principles of the Tibb philosophy is a requirement of the postgraduate diploma. The topic for the research will be assigned to you at the beginning of the second year.

 

Assessment of Learning

Assessments are an essential part of the learning process, as they provide feedback about how effective teaching is, and so help identify, then rectify, shortcomings and misunderstandings which may hinder learning, understanding and application of knowledge in a particular subject or skill.

Assessments encompass a comprehensive teaching and assessment approach including an objective structured clinical exams (OSCE) to ensure that the theoretical and practical components of the qualification are appropriately understood and implemented.

The Tibb Course uses two forms of assessment:

  • Formative (continuous) assessment – This is conducted at regular intervals throughout the course. They help diagnose problems the student may have with the study material, concepts or understanding. This assessment will include assignments, case study presentations and group discussions (for both modules 1-6 and illness management modules).
  • Summative assessment – This evaluates the degree of competence achieved overall in the course. This is carried out at the end of each year.

 

Course Structure

1st Semester – Block 1 Module 1 & 2: Philosophy and Aetiology of Tibb (20 – 21 September 2019)

Module 1: Philosophy of Tibb (View Module)

This module begins with a brief historical overview of Tibb, followed by a description of the key Tibb concepts of physis, creation, temperament, humours, lifestyle factors and qualities within the context of health and disease. Tibb’s holistic nature is highlighted in the relationship between the person and the environment, and within the context of the body’s anatomical structures, physiological actions and metabolic functions. The most significant consequences of this module are the realisation of the relationship between man (the microcosm) and the universe (the macrocosm); the recognition of everyone’s uniqueness; recognising and respecting the inherent self-healing mechanism of physis; and the appreciation of the insights provided by the temperamental and humoral theories in healthcare.

Main learning outcome: After completing this module the students will have the insights into the philosophical concepts underpinning Tibb and its relevance to integrating these concepts into their practice.

What criteria will be used to decide whether students have achieved the learning outcome for this module?

At the end of the module we will know if the learners have achieved the learning outcomes if they are able to:

  1. Compare and contrast the historical development of Western medicine and Tibb;
  2. List and understand the unique features of Tibb when compared to Western medicine;
  3. Demonstrate understanding of the Tibb philosophical concepts of physis, creation, qualities, temperament, humours and lifestyle factors;
  4. Describe how the body’s anatomical structures, physiological actions and metabolic functions are part of a fully integrated living system;
  5. Appreciate the holistic nature of Tibb regarding the inner microcosm and the surrounding macrocosm, as modelled in the ‘wheel of life’;
  6. Describe the lifestyle factors, and explain how they are central to both health promotion and disease management.
  7. Successfully identify the dominant and sub-dominant temperament of patients.

Module 2: Aetiology in Tibb (View Module)

This module elaborates the principles of ‘cause and effect’ in relation to the onset and progress of disease, and on the achievement of optimum health. Tibb’s philosophical basis provides a strong and clear foundation for understanding the various factors which influence the person’s state of health and/or disease. Tibb accepts that diseases arise from multiple causes, and contends that distortions or aberrations in someone’s lifestyle are major contributors to the onset and perpetuation of most diseases, especially those of a chronic and recurring nature. Tibb also affirms that for every disease there are defined causes, and knowledge and awareness of these contributes markedly to selection of subsequent therapy and recuperation. This module also provides Lifestyle Management Programmes for health maintenance, each specific for people with different temperamental combinations. Tibb strongly believes that everyone has a natural inclination towards sound health, and that this is the normal condition through all stages of life.

Main learning outcomes: After completing this module the students will have insight into aetiology, the signs of the causes of illnesses from the Tibb perspective, and its relevance to integrating these concepts into their practice.

What criteria will be used to decide whether students have achieved the learning outcome for this module?

At the end of the module we will know if the learners have achieved the learning outcomes if they are able to:

  1. Comprehend the nature and meaning of cause and effect.
  2. Demonstrate a clear understanding of the causes of disease.
  3. Appreciate how distortions in the patient’s lifestyle can lead to disease.
  4. Appreciate that every disease has a definite cause or group of causes
  5. Describe the major and minor lifestyle factors.
  6. Explain how these factors can influence health maintenance and lead to disease.
  7. To plan and evaluate Lifestyle Management Programmes for health promotion and improved Quality of Life.

 

1st Semester – Block 2 Module 3, 4 & 5: Pathology, Diagnosis and Therapeutics (9 – 10 November 2019)

Module 3: Pathology in Tibb

This module details the subject of pathology from the Tibb perspective. It reviews the main differences between Tibb and Western medicine, particularly the role of qualities, humours, physis and temperament in disease and the different developmental pathways followed in chronic and acute disorders. It covers pathology in the context of living tissues, functional organs and their operating systems, the changes in qualities, signs and symptoms typical of certain disorders. The role of humours in pathology, pathological pathways and qualitative influences are explored. The various stages of a particular disease, the different pathological processes linked to humoral imbalance, and the Tibb interpretation of inflammation is explained. Finally, the module concludes with the role of physis during pathological processes.

Main learning outcome: After completing this module the students will have insights into understanding pathological processes from the Tibb perspective, and its relevance to integrating these concepts into their practice.

What criteria will be used to decide whether students have achieved the learning outcome for this module?

At the end of the module we will know if the learners have achieved the learning outcomes if they are able to:

  1. Compare and contrast the approaches to pathology by Western medicine and Tibb.
  2. Explain the pathological processes that lead to qualitative and humoral imbalances in the body.
  3. Describe the different pathways involved in chronic and acute pathological disorders.
  4. Show an understanding of how illnesses are linked to humoral and qualitative imbalances.
  5. Explain the role of inflammation in the onset, progress and resolution of disease.
  6. List the different stages of disease from the Tibb perspective.
  7. Demonstrate the major roles that physis plays during pathological processes.

 

Module 4: Diagnosis in Tibb

This module details the similarities and differences in principles and techniques between diagnosis in Tibb and Western medical diagnosis. The Tibb general approach to this critically important function, the importance of temperament, the role of intuition and the main diagnostic techniques employed and processes adopted, is discussed. Special reference is made to the Tibb stepwise diagnostic procedure. The allocation of different disorders to imbalanced qualities, humours, pathways are covered. Pulse diagnosis, its development, parameters and technique and its ability to detect specific organ malfunctioning is detailed, noting that pulse diagnosis requires comprehensive knowledge and practice. The features of tongue diagnosis, are explained, and the clinical value derived from the parameters assessed, are listed. The module concludes with an evaluation of urine and stool analysis, its clinical nature, and its potential as a disease indicator.

Main learning outcome: after completing this module the students will have gained insights into the diagnostic approaches from the Tibb perspective, and its relevance to integrating these concepts and techniques into their practice.

What criteria will be used to decide whether students have achieved the learning outcome for this module?

At the end of the module we will know if the learners have achieved the learning outcomes if they are able to:

  1. Compare the historical development of clinical diagnosis in both Western medicine and Tibb, and how they differ.
  2. Explain how the temperamental and humoral theories provide insights into Tibb diagnostic procedures.
  3. Describe the differences between initial, differential, provisional and final diagnosis in Tibb.
  4. Understand the underlying theory of pulse analysis, and the practical procedures employed.
  5. Describe the practice of tongue analysis, and its role in diagnosing clinical conditions.
  6. Outline the value of urine and stool analysis, and how it can contribute to the final diagnosis.
  7. To accurately diagnosis qualitative and humoral imbalances associated with illness conditions.

 

Module 5: Therapeutics in Tibb

This module discusses the Tibb approach to therapeutics, unlike the limited options in Western medicine, it details many therapeutic options available to practitioners. As a key focus of Tibb therapy, is to assist physis in support of the patient’s innate healing powers; many of the therapies revolve around the elimination of toxins, whether internal or external in origin. The module covers the principles of treatment, therapeutic guidelines for clinical disorders, and the treatment approach in addressing humoral/qualitative imbalances. The theoretical principles underpinning, the different therapeutic options, including pharmacotherapy, lifestyle modification/emotional support therapy, as well as eliminative (aka regimental) therapies are covered, with emphasis on diet therapy.

Main learning outcome: After completing this module the students will have gained insights into the therapeutic options from the Tibb perspective, and its relevance to integrating these concepts and therapeutic options into their practice.

What criteria will be used to decide whether students have achieved the learning outcome for this module?

At the end of the module we will know if the learners have achieved the learning outcomes if they are able to:

  1. Explain how Tibb therapeutics supports and enhances the role of physis in treatment;
  2. Explain how the Tibb approach to therapeutics addresses not only the symptoms, but also the causes of disease;
  3. Fully comprehend that most illness conditions is aimed at elimination in response to the Hippocratic principles of pepsis;
  4. Demonstrate the ability to make appropriate therapeutic choices in response to qualitative and humoral imbalances at various levels;
  5. Illustrate an understanding of the rationale, and clinical benefits of the different therapeutic options available to the Tibb practitioner, with emphasis on dietotherapy.

 

1st Semester – Block 3 Module 6: Pharmacology, pharmacy and Herbal Medicine in Tibb, Practical training – Cupping and Somatic Balancing Technique (11 – 15 January 2020)

 Module 6: Pharmacology, pharmacy and Herbal Medicine in Tibb

This module provides information on the application of Tibb pharmacology, detailing monograph of single ingredients and compound formulations. The description of commonly used single ingredients include: botanical name, temperament, parts used, as well as its pharmacological action in the treatment of qualitative/humoral imbalances. Prescriptions of sing herb, pharmacopeia, as well as other compound and propriety formulations, in the treatment of various illness conditions is included. The module also explains how integrating Tibb medication with conventional drugs is achieved and provides guidelines on efficacy and safety.

Main learning outcome: after completing this module the students will have gained insights into Tibb pharmacology, as well as single and compound medication and its relevance to integrating these concepts and medication into their practice.

What criteria will be used to decide whether students have achieved the learning outcome for this module?

At the end of the module we will know if the learners have achieved the learning outcomes if they are able to:

  1. Demonstrate how Tibb principles of pharmacology and pharmacy provide the rationale as to why Tibb medication is better tolerated than Western, conventional medication.
  2. To appreciate the science and empiricism behind the art of formulating Tibb medication.
  3. Explain how Tibb medication, aimed at addressing qualitative and humoral imbalances addresses not only the symptoms but also the cause/s of illness conditions.
  1. Successfully integrate single ingredients, and compound formulations into their practice.

Practical’s: Cupping and Somatic Balancing Technique

During this block of five (5) days, practical demonstration and supervised training on Cupping therapy and Somatic Balancing Technique will be conducted.

1st Semester – Block 4 Examinations (Module 1-6): Introductory lecture Module 7 – Illness Management (22 – 23 February 2020)

An introductory lecture on Module 7 (Illness Management) will provide an overview of the sub-modules that will be covered in the second year. The lecture will be an interactive discussion preparing students for the second year during which the application of the theoretical modules are implemented in practice.

2nd Semester – Block 5 Module 7 & 8: Illness Management/Research (4 – 5th April 2020)
Module 7: Illness Management (5 sub-modules)

The anatomy and physiology of different organ systems from both the Tibb and the Western perspective are summarised. Particular attention is paid to temperament, structure and function in both health and disease. This module (5 sub-modules) encompasses illness conditions affecting different systems of the human body from the Tibb diagnostic and treatment perspective. This aspect of diagnosis and treatment of the different illness conditions is based upon the foundations of the philosophical principles underpinning aetiology, pathology, diagnosis and treatment covered in modules 1-6.

Module 7a – This module provides information on the temperament, structure and function of the: Hepatic, Renal and GIT systems, and the diagnosis and treatment of the illness conditions affecting these systems.

Module 7b – This module provides information on the relationship of temperament, structure and function of the: Female and Male Reproductive systems, and the diagnosis and treatment of the illness conditions affecting these systems.

Module 7c – This module provides information on the relationship of temperament, structure and function of the: Skin and Musculo-skeletal system, and the diagnosis and treatment of the illness conditions affecting these systems.

Module 7d – This module provides information on the relationship of temperament, structure and function of the: nervous system, ENT and Endocrine system, and the diagnosis and treatment of the illness conditions affecting these systems.

Module 7e – This module provides information on the relationship of temperament, structure and function of the: Haematological, Cardiovascular and Respiratory system, and the diagnosis and treatment of the illness conditions affecting these systems.

What criteria will be used to decide whether students have achieved the learning outcome for this module?

At the end of the module we will know if the learners have achieved the learning outcomes if they are able to:

  1. Apply and integrate the Tibb principles learnt in the theoretical modules to the various illness conditions covered;
  2. Critically explain the rationale behind the causes and pathological pathways of illness conditions in terms of accurate diagnoses of temperamental, qualitative, humoral and structural imbalances;
  3. Select and prescribe therapeutic options appropriate to the needs of the patient, addressing the causes and symptoms of the disease;
  4. Illustrate an understanding of the benefits of integrating Tibb into their medical practice with improved clinical outcomes.

Module 8: Research Project

This module provides students with an opportunity to conduct research into the philosophical and practical aspects of Tibb.

What criteria will be used to decide whether students have achieved the learning outcome for this module?

At the end of the module we will know if the learners have achieved the learning outcomes if they are able to:

  1. Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the scientific principles and technique of medical research;
  2. Assess and interpret medical literature accurately and correctly;
  3. Demonstrate the ability to critically interpret the research finding and results.

2nd Semester – Block 6 & 7 Module 7 (Illness modules) & 8 (Research): Case Studies Presentations (22 – 23 May 2020)

Case study presentations and group discussions on the diagnosis and treatment of various illness conditions associated with the different systems from Module 7 will be critically evaluated.
Research queries, if any will also be dealt with.

Year 2 – Block 8: Final Summative Assessment (4 – 5 July 2020)

Submission of fifty (50) case studies (ten from each of the sub-modules, from Module 7) together with the research project. An OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) will also be conducted.

Note: All blocks, with the exception of block 3 will run over 2 full days, from Saturday morning to Sunday afternoon. Block 3 will be conducted over 5 days and the final assessment block over 2 days.

A dedicated eLearning platform is offered to allow students to receive modules, interact with admin staff and lecturers, a student forum and an interactive video-conferencing facility.

All students have to opportunity to work alongside a registered Doctor of Tibb at the School’s Clinic in Athens from the beginning of the 2nd Semester.

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