What is the Education of a Naturopathic Doctor?
The naturopathic doctor is a highly trained medical professional who has completed four years of postgraduate education to learn about all aspects of natural medicine. They must be accredited by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Schools and recognized by the United States Department of Education for their skill set as a licensed naturopathic doctor (ND) or naturopathic medical doctor (NMD). In addition to the seven accredited programs across the United States and Canada, there is one in Puerto Rico that’s up for accreditation.
Similarities Between Naturopathic Medical Schools and Conventional Medical Schools
There are many different types of medical schools in the United States. Some students choose to attend a naturopathic medical school, while others choose to attend a conventional medical school. Both of these types of schools have their unique benefits and drawbacks. However, there are some similarities between naturopathic and conventional medical schools. Here are some:
- The medical field is an exciting place to be, but it can also seem overwhelming. becoming a naturopathic student and the conventional student will help you specialize in the biomedical sciences by learning about anatomy and physiology, as well as biochemistry, immunology, and microbiology.
- Naturopathic doctors and conventional medical professionals use a patient’s history, and physical exam to diagnose disease. They also rely on laboratory testing for accurate results.
- Medical school is a time when both naturopathic and conventional students can get extensive experience with patients. They should complete two or three full rotations and hands-on clinical rotations during medical school.
- Naturopathic doctors have different priorities when it comes to treatment. While they will prescribe and manage pharmaceutical medications, the first line of defense for a naturopath is natural and herbal approaches
Naturopathic doctors are required to take and pass two written national board exams called the NPLEX (Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examination). These tests ensure that one can be considered a true expert in their field, having undergone years of rigorous training. Here is what entails:
1. The first part of the NPLEX is at the end of your second year in school, and it covers basic medical sciences including biochemistry and more. And part two is after graduation with a passing grade.
2. The NPLEX Part two covers clinical medicine and ensures that Naturopathic physicians are competent to practice throughout the breadth of their knowledge base.
3. Naturopathic students are required to complete real medical case exams multiple times during their education. These cases involve diagnosing and working through a patient’s treatment, which ensures that future patients will be safe with the knowledge from these tests in place.
Naturopathic doctors can take the primary care board certification exams that most conventional medical professionals have. However, not every state has laws in place for licensing naturopaths as a physician. This means some areas allow them all legal rights and responsibilities of being a primary care physician while other states don’t yet recognize their qualifications at all.
Naturopathic medicine is a form of alternative medicine that uses natural remedies to treat illness. Naturopathic doctors have similar education to conventional medical doctors, and they are licensed and board certified. Many believe that naturopathic medicine should be considered an option for people who want to explore other treatment options.
About the Authors
Society’s Voice advocates for Naturopathic treatments for a variety of physical and mental disabilities. Naturopathic medicine is a distinct system of primary health care that emphasizes prevention and the self-healing process through the use of natural therapies. We know that the efficacy of naturopathic medicine dates back to the 1890s, and are heartened to see naturopathic medicine undergo a rapid increase in public interest in recent years as a result of the growing consumer movement to solve the healthcare puzzle using prevention, wellness, and respect for nature’s inherent healing ability.
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