What is a Naturopathic Doctor?

You’re a What Kind of Doctor? 

Naturopathic Doctors are often asked this question, and it’s a great question to ask!

The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) and the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges (AANMC) provide a great description of the education, training, and qualifications of NDs:

“A licensed naturopathic physician (ND) attends a four-year, graduate-level naturopathic medical school and is educated in all of the same basic sciences as an MD, but also studies holistic and nontoxic approaches to therapy with a strong emphasis on disease prevention and optimizing wellness.”

“In addition to a standard medical curriculum, the naturopathic physician also studies clinical nutrition, homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, psychology, and counseling.”

“A naturopathic physician takes rigorous professional board exams so that he or she may be licensed by a state or jurisdiction as a primary care general practice physician.”

OK, so what does all of that mean?!

Well, one of the easiest ways to describe a Naturopathic Doctor is a licensed doctor who treats patients of all ages from a natural and holistic perspective.

NDs focus on treating the whole person. Investigators by nature, NDs look for the root cause of illness, often using therapies that assist the body with healing by targeting the biochemical and physiological basic building blocks of the body.

NDs treat all medical conditions and have a strong focus on promoting health, wellness, and disease prevention. Some of the common conditions NDs treat include allergies, chronic pain, digestive concerns, hormonal imbalances, obesity, fertility, thyroid problems, headaches, and more!

“Naturopathic physicians combine the wisdom of nature with the rigors of modern science.”

“Naturopathic medicine focuses on holistic, proactive prevention and comprehensive diagnosis and treatment. By using protocols that minimize the risk of harm, naturopathic physicians help facilitate the body’s inherent ability to restore and maintain optimal health.”

“NDs can perform minor surgeries, such as removing cysts or stitching up superficial wounds. However, they do not practice major surgery.” 

“NDs are trained to utilize prescription drugs, although the emphasis of naturopathic medicine is the use of natural healing agents.”

That sounds great! Is there a licensed ND where I live?

Depending on where you live, you may or may not have access to a properly trained and licensed Naturopathic Doctor. Currently 20 US states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and 5 Canadian Provinces have licensing and/or registration laws for NDs.

“Naturopathic physicians work in private practices, hospitals, clinics and community health centers. NDs practice throughout the United States and Canada.”

In these areas, only those who have graduated from a 4 year accredited post graduate naturopathic medical program and passed the 2 step professional board exams are eligible to be licensed to practice medicine as a Naturopathic Doctor.

Check out the AANP “Find an ND” Directory to find a licensed Naturopathic Doctor near you!

Are you interested in natural healthcare options? Looking for a doctor who really listens to your concerns and works with you? At Integrative Wellness Solutions we are passionate about helping you achieve your personal goals and dreams through developing and maintaining your best level of health. We combine the best of conventional medicine with evidence based natural therapies to provide real solutions unique to you.

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