Call for alternative cure
The past few years have seen a surprising increase in demand for natural, safe, non-toxic, and cost-effective healthcare 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 the 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 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, 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 prerequisite coursework which will be used to establish a student’s preparation for the naturopathic program. Subjects in the prerequisite coursework 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, and 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, the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut, the National College of Natural Medicine in Oregon, Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences in Arizona, and the National University of Health Sciences in Illinois.
Their programs are accredited by the 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, and highly
competitive and students are expected to have and maintain excellent academic records throughout the program to avail
of 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 the USA
Frequently Asked Questions Related to Naturopathy in USA:
Q1: What is Naturopathy, and how does it differ from conventional medicine?
A1: Naturopathy is a holistic approach to healthcare that focuses on natural therapies, lifestyle changes, and preventive medicine. It differs from conventional medicine by emphasizing the body’s self-healing abilities and using natural remedies.
Q2: Are Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) recognized as healthcare professionals in the USA?
A2: Yes, Naturopathic Doctors are licensed healthcare practitioners in some states in the USA, and they can diagnose and treat a wide range of health conditions using natural therapies.
Q3: What treatments and therapies do Naturopathic Doctors use in their practice?
A3: Naturopathic Doctors may use therapies such as herbal medicine, nutrition counseling, acupuncture, hydrotherapy, and lifestyle modifications to support patients’ health and well-being.
Q4: How can I become a licensed Naturopathic Doctor in the USA?
A4: To become an ND, you typically need to graduate from an accredited naturopathic medical school, pass licensing exams, and fulfill state-specific requirements for licensure.
Q5: Do Naturopathic Doctors work alongside conventional medical professionals?
A5: Naturopathic Doctors often collaborate with conventional medical practitioners to provide comprehensive healthcare solutions for patients, focusing on integrative and complementary approaches.
Q6: Can Naturopathic Doctors prescribe medication or perform surgery?
A6: Naturopathic Doctors in some states have limited prescription rights for certain medications and can perform minor surgical procedures, but their primary focus is on natural therapies and preventive care.
Q7: What health conditions can Naturopathic Doctors treat?
A7: Naturopathic Doctors can treat a wide range of health conditions, including chronic illnesses, digestive issues, allergies, stress-related disorders, and more.
Q8: Are naturopathic treatments covered by health insurance in the USA?
A8: Coverage for naturopathic treatments varies by insurance provider and state. Some insurance plans offer coverage for certain naturopathic services.
Q9: How can I find a qualified Naturopathic Doctor in my area?
A9: You can search online directories, contact naturopathic associations, or ask for recommendations from your primary care physician or healthcare network.
Q10: Are there accredited naturopathic medical schools in the USA?
A10: Yes, there are accredited naturopathic medical schools in the USA that offer Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND or NMD) programs.
Q11: What is the philosophy behind Naturopathy, and how does it promote overall well-being?
A11: Naturopathy’s philosophy is based on the principles of treating the root cause of illness, supporting the body’s innate healing abilities, and emphasizing prevention through healthy living.
Q12: Can Naturopathic Doctors provide nutritional counseling and dietary guidance?
A12: Yes, nutritional counseling and dietary guidance are common aspects of naturopathic practice, as diet plays a significant role in overall health.
Q13: Are there any risks or contraindications associated with naturopathic treatments?
A13: While naturopathic treatments are generally considered safe, it’s important to consult with a licensed Naturopathic Doctor who can assess individual health needs and potential risks.
Q14: How can naturopathic care complement conventional medicine for patients with complex health issues?
A14: Naturopathic care can complement conventional medicine by addressing underlying factors, managing side effects, and promoting overall well-being in patients with complex health conditions.
Q15: What ongoing education and training requirements do Naturopathic Doctors have to meet?
A15: Naturopathic Doctors are typically required to engage in continuing education to stay updated with the latest research and developments in naturopathic medicine.