The other day someone asked me if Naturopathic Doctors are real doctors? ” Of course, was my answer!” We will review the top ten myths of naturopathic medicine.
The purpose of these next several posts are to review the key elements behind naturopathic medicine. In this first post, we will review the first of the professional requirements, education, and practice of naturopathic medicine.
Naturopathic Doctors are not “Real” Doctors.
TRUTH: Naturopathic Doctors ARE indeed real doctors who use a different approach. Their foundational philosophy of their system of medicine is different than conventional medicine. ND’s base their approach on the belief that the body, when faced with illness or disease, will do its best to heal itself. Natural therapies are used first and drugs and surgeries can be used if necessary.
Naturopathic Doctor training is as extensive as MD’s. Both ND’s and MD’s attend four years of intensive professional programs after completing similar pre-med courses. Accredited naturopathic colleges such as The National University of Health Sciences require students to complete an undergraduate degree prior to starting medical school. They both get 1500 hours of training in basic and core clinical sciences and learn dermatology, obstetrics, gynecology, and other clinically focused topics.
In addition, a part of their naturopathic curriculum, they complete between 1100-1500 hou8rs of clinical internship and core clinical modalities such as acupuncture, Asian medicine, and botanical/herbal medicine.
As part of a naturopathic curriculum, NDs complete between 1100 and 1500 hours of clinical internship where they work with patients to apply their skills and develop treatment plans while working under the supervision of a licensed ND, the same way a medical doctor would.
Naturopathic doctors receive hundreds of hours of training in core clinical modalities. Core Clinical modalities include such modalities as botanical/herbal medicine, traditional Asian medicine, acupuncture, counselling, homeopathy, physical medicine, hydrotherapy, and clinical nutrition.
Myth #2 Naturopathic Doctors Cannot Be Primary Care Doctors
TRUTH Naturopathic Doctors CAN be primary care doctors. A licensed naturopathic doctor in NH, is an ND or an NMD and is a primary care physician, with an emphasis on natural medicine, who is able to diagnose and prescribe medication. To find an ND in New Hampshire, visit our website.
Myth #3 Naturopathic Medicine is Not Science-based
TRUTH Naturopathic Medicine IS Science-based. Regulated naturopathic doctors go through rigorous four-year, science-based medical education at an accredited or candidate school of the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (the only naturopathic programmatic accreditation agency recognized by the US Secretary of Education). Schools such as the National University of Health Sciences lead the way in developing primary research in the natural medicine field.
In addition to studying the same biomedical sciences as their MD counterparts, ND students are trained in patient and family wellness practices and work as part of a care team on behalf of their patients.
In the next post, we will continue with the top ten truths of naturopathic medicine and dispel some of the false information around its practice.