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About Naturopathic Medicine

A naturopathic doctor (N.D.) integrates the wisdom of nature with the strengths of modern medicine. Naturopathic physicians undergo rigorous training in order to become licensed healthcare practitioners. We attend a four-year accredited graduate-level naturopathic medical school. Similar to medical doctors (M.D.), we are educated in the basic sciences, including anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, immunology, histology, and pharmacology, and in the medical sciences, including clinical/physical diagnosis, lab diagnosis, radiology, cardiology, oncology, urology, gynecology, obstetrics, pediatrics, geriatrics, dermatology, neurology, gastroenterology, psychology/counseling, and minor surgery. In addition to these subjects, naturopathic physicians complete years of study in clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, and chinese medicine. We are trained to understand both conventional and natural medicine, to both diagnose and treat illness, to use both prescription drugs and natural therapies. Naturopathic physicians take professional board exams in order to be licensed by a state or jurisdiction as a primary care general practice physician. We are further required to complete continuing education annually in order to maintain licensure. Currently, there are seven accredited naturopathic medical colleges in North America. As of 2020, twenty-two states, the District of Columbia, and the United States territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have licensing laws for naturopathic physicians. For additional information about naturopathic medicine, please visit the website for the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians www.naturopathic.org.