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Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examination


 NPLEX is the standard examination used by all licensing jurisdictions for naturopathic doctors in North America. It includes 5 basic science exams (anatomy, physiology, pathology, biochemistry, microbiology and immunology) which are taken after the first two years of medical school. The clinical science examinations are taken following graduation after the fourth year of school. They include: clinical and physical diagnosis, laboratory diagnosis and diagnostic imaging, botanical medicine, pharmacology, nutrition, physical medicine, homeopathy, minor surgery, psychology and lifestyle counseling, and emergency medicine. Individual jurisdictions may give additional examinations in jurisprudence and acupuncture.

Licensed States

Currently, 19 states, the District of Columbia, and the US territories of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands have licensing laws for naturopathic doctors. In these states, naturopathic doctors are required to graduate from a four-year, residential naturopathic medical school and pass an extensive postdoctoral board examination (NPLEX) in order to receive a license.

Licensed naturopathic physicians must fulfill state-mandated continuing education requirements annually, and will have a specific scope of practice defined by their state’s law. The states that currently have licensing laws for naturopathic physicians are:

  • Alaska

  • Arizona

  • California

  • Colorado

  • Connecticut

  • Hawaii

  • Idaho

  • Kansas

  • Maine

  • Maryland

  • Massachusetts

  • Minnesota

  • Montana

  • New Hampshire

  • New Mexico

  • North Dakota

  • Oregon

  • Pennsylvania 

  • Rhode Island

  • Utah

  • Vermont

  • Washington

  • Wisconsin 

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