My Aunt Goes to A Naturopathic Medical Doctor!
Okay, so maybe you’ve heard of Naturopathic Medicine or maybe you haven’t. Or maybe your Aunt goes to a Naturopathic Medical Doctor. Either way, you’ve ended up here and you're going to learn how one becomes a Naturopathic Medical Doctor.
First things first. Let’s uncover some myths about Naturopathic Medical Doctors:
· We don’t go to a four year accredited medical institution after obtaining an undergraduate degree
· We’re homeopaths
· We’re not licensed
· We are tree hugging hippies who only drink kombucha and attend drum circles (confession: drum circles are actually really fun)
Well, I’m here to let you know those myths are busted!
After graduating from a 4 year accredited institution, Naturopathic Doctors have the option to practice Homeopathy along with Nutrition, Botanical Medicine, Hydrotherapy, Acupuncture, Physical Manipulation and Minor Surgery. Depending what state you’re licensed in dictates what modalities you can practice.
Upon graduation from a 4 year accredited program, and passing the 2 part NPLEX (Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examination) board exam series regulated by NABNE (North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners), one can successfully practice Naturopathic Medicine:
- Part 1: Biomedical Science (taken during our Second Year)
- Part 2: Core Clinical Science (taken upon Graduation)
- Part 2: Practical Clinical Exam (taken upon Graduation)
Naturopathic Medical Doctors, like myself, become licensed after having met the requirements listed above. Once an individual is licensed he/she must become familiar with their state’s scope of practice. For example, in California, even though I’m trained in Acupuncture, Physical Manipulation and Minor Surgery, the state doesn’t currently allow me to practice these modalities. So in my practice, I utilize Nutrition, Homeopathy, Herbal Supplementation, Botanical Medicine and Counseling. All very important modalities that help you heal from the inside out.
I have another confession to make. I ALSO believed those myths at one time or another regarding Naturopathic Doctors and their medicine! Before attending Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, I really had no idea what a Naturopathic Doctor learned and the modalities they could utilize. I knew I wanted a more natural approach to my health and to really learn about Naturopathic Medicine, but I had no idea how rigorous of a program NMD’s must go through to get licensed. The first two years were very heavily science based, while the next two years focused on patient centered care and the appropriate training needed to see patients. Here’s a closer look at what a licensed Naturopathic Doctor has achieved:
Having this license ensures that an NMD has the following education:
- University undergraduate degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA
- Medical prerequisites for biology, biochemistry, chemistry, organic chemistry, and psychology
- Completion of more than 4,500 hours of Naturopathic training and 1,500 hours of supervised clinical experience
- Successfully completed a 4-year full-time Naturopathic medical program at one of the accredited schools above.
- Successfully passed the 2-part NPLEX (Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examination) board exam series regulated by NABNE (North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners):
- Part 1: Biomedical Science
- Part 2: Core Clinical Science
- Part 2: Practical Clinical Exam
- Part 2: Jurisprudence and Jurisdiction Exam
- Annual Continuing Medical Education (CME) required credits as per provincial and state regulations.
So let’s sum up… Naturopathic Medical Doctors:
· Attend a four year accredited medical institution after obtaining an undergraduate degree
· Have the option to practice Homeopathy along with Nutrition, Botanical Medicine, Hydrotherapy, Acupuncture, Physical Manipulation and Minor Surgery
· Are licensed
· Are more apt to hug a person than a tree, who has time to brew their own kombucha?? and I like music but you won’t see me on stage with these guys just yet!
This blog is not intended to provide a health diagnosis, treat a medical condition, or provide medical advice. All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes. Please consult your doctor or a qualified health professional on any matters regarding your health and well-being or on any opinions expressed within this blog.