A Naturopathic Physician is a primary Health Care Professional, who is trained as a specialist in Natural Medicine. The field of Natural Medicine is strongly rooted with an emphasis on prevention. Naturopathic Medicine is effective in treating most health problems, whether acute or chronic. In practice, Naturopathic Physicians perform laboratory testing, physical examinations, gynecological exams, pediatrics, geriatrics, men’s health, allergy testing, and hormone testing, counseling, nutritional and dietary analysis. Naturopathic Physicians refer patients to other practitioners from all other branches of medical science for diagnosis and treatment as appropriate.
A Naturopathic Physician has a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (N.D.) degree from a four year graduate level federally accredited Naturopathic Medical College, which includes two years of supervised clinical internship. N.D.’s study the same basic medical curriculum and clinical sciences as orthodox allopathic medical students (M.D.’s) along with the full spectrum of natural medicines and therapies.
Naturopathic Doctors are licensed in several states in the USA and provinces in Canada. To obtain licensure, the candidate must successfully graduate from a Naturopathic Medical College and receive a passing mark on the National Standardized examination or that of a particular state’s Naturopathic Board examination. States that license Naturopathic Doctor’s include: Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Washington, plus the District of Columbia and United States Territories, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
Nature acts in a powerful and profound manner through mental, spiritual, and physical mechanisms to restore balance and health. In a healthy person, balance is usually quickly restored, but when the healing capacity of a person is compromised, help in healing is needed. Naturopathic physicians use natural, effective, and non-toxic therapies to support the body's natural healing process, stimulate the body's vital force, and prevent further disease from occurring.
Each person is unique and requires catered services and individualized care. In developing a treatment plan, the cause of any condition is taken into consideration - not only the physical symptoms that the patient may be experiencing, but also spiritual, emotional, and psychological symptoms of the person. Disease affects people on more than just the physical level. This being the case, Naturopathic medicine takes a holistic approach by incorporating the evaluation of the person's thoughts, feelings, lifestyle, family history, environmental stresses, and nutritional status.
Healthiness is more than just the absence of disease. Optimum health entails daily functioning on the highest possible levels, and is characterized by positive emotions, thoughts, and actions. Naturopathic physicians teach patients how to restore and maintain their own health through living in harmony with themselves and their environment.