What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Updated: Nov 15, 2022
Naturopathic doctors are primary health care providers that incorporate evidence-based scientific knowledge with traditional, natural modalities that have been practiced in many different areas of the world for centuries.
Naturopathic doctors (ND) spend a significant amount of time with their patients in order to take an in-depth history in an effort to diagnose and create individualized treatment plans for their patients. They can treat both chronic and acute conditions, and often focus on primary prevention of chronic disease. After obtaining a 4-year undergraduate degree, ND's then go through a rigorous 4-year program at accredited colleges in either the US or Canada.
Their first two years are very similar to that of a conventional medical student, where they focus on clinical and biomedical sciences including pharmacology. Additionally, they are taught modalities such as botanical medicine, nutrition, spinal manipulation and acupuncture. During their fourth year of school, Naturopathic students spend 12 months in a clinical setting, treating patients under the supervision of licensed naturopathic doctors. At this time, they may choose to focus on treating specific populations, in addition to the general population.
After graduating, ND’s must then write and pass two licensing exams and a board exam in order to become a licensed Naturopathic Doctor.
ND's must also obtain many continuing education courses throughout their clinical practice in order to keep up to date on any new research. They are also able to undergo specific continuing education courses & write certain exams to gain different modalities such as their prescribing rights as well as IV therapy.
For more information on Naturopathic Medicine and NDs visit https://aanmc.org/naturopathic-medicine/.
Dr. Samantha Allen, ND