Call of alternative cure
The past few years have seen a surprising increase in demand for natural, safe, non toxic, and cost-effective health care options. Naturopathic medicine has emerged as a profession that best suits this demand. It favors a holistic approach with non-invasive treatment and generally avoids use of surgery and drugs. Naturopathic physicians are trained in the art and
science of natural health care and collaborations between conventional medical doctors and licensed NDs are becoming more accessible.
Naturopathic doctors are licensed medical doctors who combine conventional medicine with botanical, nutritional and homeopathic therapies. They assess a patient’s physical health along with their emotional, mental and spiritual health following the philosophy of treating the whole person and not just the symptoms. They use traditional and alternative treatments to complement each other, and emphasize on disease prevention and optimizing overall wellness.
Healing in the US
Naturopathic Doctors (ND) in the States attend a four-year professional-level naturopathic medical program and are educated in the same basic sciences as in conventional medical school. They generally concentrate on training holistic primary care physicians and on preparing candidates for state board licensing examinations and the general practice of naturopathic medicine.
One needs a bachelor’s degree to apply for the medical program. While a particular major may not be specified, a sound training in science will be required and a broad education in arts and humanities will be encouraged. Most colleges will expect an applicant to complete a prerequisite coursework which will be used to establish a student’s preparation for the naturopathic program. Subjects in the prerequisite course work include mathematics, chemistry, biology, physics, social
science and human psychology. The marks and grades of the undergraduate degree will have to be sent in the form of official academic transcripts. Colleges ask for letters of recommendation, a financial statement and may also require a resume, one or more essays and a personal statement or statement of purpose.
Colleges and exam
Well known colleges for the doctoral program in naturopathic medicine are Bastyr University in Washington and San Diego, University of Bridgeport in Connecticut, National College of Natural Medicine in Oregon, Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences in Arizona, and National University of Health Sciences in Illinois. Their programs are accredited by Council on Naturopathic Medical Education. In the US, only students who graduate from American naturopathic colleges are eligible to apply for the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examinations. These exams are administered twice a year at the state and provincial level by the North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners,
Portland, Oregon. Licensed naturopathic physicians in various American states must complete certain mandatory continuing education requirements annually, and will need to follow a specific scope of practice as defined by their state’s law.
Fees and funding
Tuition fees in the US range from $27000-40000 annually. Scholarships and grants are available but are tough to get, highly
competitive and students are expected to have and maintain excellent academic record throughout the program to avail
them. The eligibility criteria, availability and amount of the aid varies from college to college.
NATURAL CURE: The demand for natural, safe, non toxic, and cost-effective health care has led to an urgent need for naturopathic doctors
Source: This article was originally published in Mid-Day newspaper – PDF File: Naturopathy in USA