Licensed naturopathic physicians hold an N.D. degree from an accredited four-year graduate level naturopathic medical school. Admission into most naturopathic medicine programs requires at least three years of pre-medical training and a Bachelor of Science degree.
The N.D. program consists of four years of training in the standard basic medical sciences in addition to the study of the core naturopathic modalities of treatment: clinical nutrition, acupuncture, homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, psychology, and lifestyle counseling. Naturopathic training also includes a year of full-time, supervised clinical clerkship.
During their course of study, and upon completion of the four year program, naturopathic doctors undergo rigorous standardized board examinations. Upon completion of their classroom study, naturopathic doctors are expected to further their education through continuing education courses.
Naturopaths are trained as primary care physicians. They are the only PCPs who are formally educated in the use of a wide variety of natural therapeutics.
In unlicensed states, “Naturopathic Doctor” is not a protected title and can be used by any individual. There are, however, important differences between those practitioners who have completed a degree from one of the four accredited naturopathic medical schools, and those who have studied elsewhere. The difference lies in the depth and scope of naturopathic education and in the clinical experience. If you are considering naturopathic care, it is important that you find a practitioner who holds a degree from an accredited naturopathic medical school.
Additional information is available through the American Association of Naturopathic Medical Colleges at www.aanmc.org
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