NATUROPATHIC DOCTORS (ND)
Naturopathic Doctors attend nationally accredited four-year, graduate-level naturopathic medical school. Enrollment in naturopathic medical school requires a bachelor's degree and completion of medical school prerequisite classes, similar to conventional allopathic and osteopathic medical schools.
Each state currently maintains the authority to regulate and license Naturopathic Doctors. This licensure ensures that only qulaified individuals, those who have attended an accredited medical school, can call themselves a Naturopathic Doctor.
Watch our free lecture on Naturopathic Doctors.
In a state that offers licensure, Naturopathic Doctors are able to serve the community in a primary care capacity. They work with community MD's, DO's and ARNP's to provide well-rounded and comprehensive healthcare. ND services in these states are often reimbursed by insurance carriers and they are able to prescribe necessary medications within the Naturopathic Pharmaceutical Formulary.
Most Naturopathic Doctors provide primary care natural medicine through office-based, private practice. In states where NDs have been licensed for many years, they often work in collaboration with medical doctors, and routinely refer patients to each other for optimum management of a patient's healthcare.
If you are looking for a Naturopathic Doctor in a state that does not offer licensure, please be sure that who you are seeking treatment from is qualified to provide the level of healthcare you need. For more information about accredited Naturopathic Medical Schools in North America, please visit the AANMC (Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges).
States that License NDs
Currently, 17 states, five Canadian provinces, the District of Columbia, and the US territories of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands all have laws regulating NDs. In these states and provinces, naturopathic doctors are required to graduate from a four-year, residential naturopathic medical school and pass an extensive postdoctoral board examination (NPLEX) in order to receive a license.
Licensed States: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado (Becomes law January 1, 2014), Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Maryland (2016), Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Washington
Click on the map for more information.
The Princeton Review 2007 Edition
The Princeton Review's, "Best 168 Medical Schools, 2007 Edition" includes med school applicant information and advice, as well as a chapter which profiles each of the six naturopathic medical schools.
One excerpt comparing and contrasting the three major medical fields' states: "Naturopathic physicians (NDs) take a holistic approach to healing, and aim to cure disease by taking advantage of the body's self-regenerative powers and harnessing the restorative power of nature. Like osteopaths, naturopathic physicians endeavor to treat the whole person by taking into account the emotional, genetic, and environmental factors that have influenced their state of health. Unlike osteopaths, however, naturopathic physicians emphasize natural remedies. NDs also differ from allopaths (MDs); rather than limiting their treatment to synthetic drugs and invasive procedures, NDs predominantly utilize natural medicines and procedures. Naturopathic physicians work to identify and eliminate the cause of disease, and are guided by six basic principles:
Do no harm
Utilize the healing power of nature
Identify and treat the causes
Treat the whole person
Focus on preventive medicine
Excerpted from "Best 168 Medical Schools, 2007 Edition" Chapter 3 So You Still Want to Be a Doctor, p. 24 By Malaika Stoll, The Princeton Review.