A licensed naturopathic physician (ND) attends a four-year, graduate-level, federally accredited naturopathic medical school and is educated in all of the basic sciences as a medical doctor is (MD). Qualified naturopathic physicians undergo rigorous training before they become licensed health-care practitioners. Naturopathic education places strong emphasis on disease prevention and optimizing wellness. In addition to a standard medical curriculum, the naturopathic physician also studies clinical nutrition, homeopathy, 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. Please see the AANMC’s Professional Competency Profile for more information.
After becoming licensed, a naturopathic physicians combines the wisdom of nature with the rigors of modern science. Steeped in traditional healing methods, principles and practices, 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. It is the naturopathic physician’s role to identify and remove barriers to good health by helping to create healing internal and external environments.
Naturopathic physicians work in private practices, hospitals, clinics and community health centers. NDs practice throughout the United States and Canada. Visit our Professional Education page to learn about naturopathic education.
NDs are knowledgeable in the majority of medical conditions and can provide both individual and family health care for children and adults. Among the most common ailments supported include allergies, chronic pain, digestive issues, hormonal imbalances, obesity, respiratory conditions, heart disease, fertility problems, menopause, adrenal fatigue, cancer, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. NDs can perform minor surgeries, such as removing cysts or stitching up superficial wounds. However, they do not practice major surgery or emergency medicine. NDs are trained to utilize prescription drugs, although the emphasis of naturopathic medicine focuses on the use of natural healing agents.