What is a Naturopathic Doctor?
Naturopathic Doctors (ND/NMD) attend a 4-year post-baccalaureate medical school. Naturopathic doctors look for the underlying cause of disease and use the least invasive, cutting-edge natural therapies for treatment. The heart of naturopathic medicine is diet and nutrition, but it also provides a variety of tools such as herbs, supplements, homeopathy, and hydrotherapy. Naturopathic doctors make it a priority to spend an adequate amount of time with each patient in order to treat holistically, provide individualized care, and discover the cause of disease.
Naturopathic doctors practice under the 6 naturopathic principles:
First, do no harm by utilizing the most natural, least invasive, least toxic therapies;
Cooperate with the healing power of nature, trusting the body’s ability to heal itself;
Identify and treat the causes of disease;
Treat the whole person through individualized plan;
Teach the principles of healthy living and preventative medicine;
Focus on disease prevention.
What is a Naturopathic Education?
Naturopathic doctors must attend one of the 8 accredited naturopathic medical schools throughout the US and Canada. The first two years involve basic science courses, diagnostic work, and physical exams. The last two years focus on naturopathic treatment modalities and patient care. Naturopathic doctors are trained in a family practice clinic, are supervised by naturopathic doctors, and occasionally chiropractors and conventional medical doctors.
Naturopathic doctors must pass 2 sets of boards to become board certified doctors. The first set follows the second year of coursework and covers the basic sciences. The second set follows graduation from the program. Currently 26 states license Naturopathic doctors and Minnesota Naturopaths have been registered since 2008.