Naturopathic doctors (N.D.’s) are trained as general practitioners who specialize in using natural therapies. Naturopathic doctors hold a doctorate in naturopathic medicine from one of five accredited four-year, graduate-level, regionally accredited naturopathic medical schools. This degree confers the title of Doctor and allows the holder of the degree to guarantee to the public that s/he possesses the requisite didactic and clinical training to practice naturopathic medicine. The doctorate degree prepares naturopathic doctors to be primary care general practitioners and to work with other medical providers.
Naturopathic doctors use a variety of natural and non-invasive therapies including clinical nutrition, herbal medicine, homeopathy, physical medicine, counseling, and hydrotherapy. Many naturopathic doctors receive additional training in disciplines or modalities such as natural childbirth (midwifery), acupuncture and oriental medicine.
Naturopathic doctors are experts in the use of natural therapies and drug/nutrient, drug/herb interactions. For this reason, naturopathic doctors are increasingly being asked to serve as experts in the field of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Naturopathic doctors have served on The White House Commission on CAM, as researchers and members of the advisory board for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), and the Medicare Coverage Advisory Committee.
Naturopathic doctors are able to work in integrated settings with other medical providers. The result is a patient-centered approach that strives to provide the most appropriate treatment for an individual’s needs.