What you must know about a Licensed Naturopathic Physician
Known as the experts in natural medicine, naturopathic doctors (NDs) integrate the ancient wisdom of nature with the modern research of science. NDs are medically trained as primary care physicians and undergo medical training that is similar in structure and scope to that of medical and osteopathic doctors. NDs complete an undergraduate degree in pre-medical science, followed by a four-year post-graduate program at one of the accredited medical schools for naturopathic medicine.
An ND’s rigorous academic curriculum incorporates training in the medical sciences that includes anatomy, physiology, immunology, histology, embryology, microbiology, biochemistry, and neuroscience. NDs are trained in clinical diagnosis, differential and laboratory diagnosis, human pathology, pharmacology and clinical disciplines that include pediatrics, gynecology, endocrinology, rheumatology, oncology, dermatology, and gastroenterology.
Additionally, NDs are trained in naturopathic disciplines that include clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, homeopathic medicine, hydrotherapy, and lifestyle counseling. Therefore, it is important to validate that your naturopathic doctor is qualified and has graduated from an accredited medical school approved by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.
Instead of tearing off a prescription for a pharmaceutical to suppress a specific symptom, NDs explore the big picture: the physical, emotional, genetic, spiritual, environmental and social factors that affect overall health. While they do work to treat and alleviate symptoms, they primarily investigate and eliminate the underlying causes of illness, which are often the combination of factors such as, nutritional or biochemical dysfunctions, lifestyle, genetics, environmental toxins, as well as the mind, emotions, and beliefs.
A typical ND visit is over an hour, during which your current complaints, entire medical history, and lifestyle are examined. NDs take a holistic approach and often work to prevent illness by focusing on the human body’s ability to self-heal. NDs don’t just treat the diagnosis, they treat the individual.
No current health issue? The desire to prevent future health problems? Naturopathic medicine can still play an important role in optimizing your health. Whether it is improving your diet, your nutritional supplementation, preventing illness, or reducing the risk of diseases, naturopathic medicine can help you achieve these goals.