Naturopathic physicians undergo
training similar to medical and osteopathic doctors.
Naturopathic medical colleges are four-year postgraduate
schools with rigorous admissions requirements comparable
to other medical schools. The Doctor of Naturopathic
Medicine (ND) degree is awarded after classroom, clinic
and practical study. ND's are trained in medical
sciences including anatomy, physiology, biochemistry,
microbiology, immunology, pharmacology, cardiology,
neurology, radiology, minor surgery, obstetrics,
gynecology, pediatrics, psychology, dermatology, and
clinical and physical diagnosis. Specialized
naturopathic techniques can include therapeutic
nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, natural
childbirth, acupuncture, ayurvedic medicine,
hydrotherapy, manipulative therapy, and counseling.
Professionally-recognized colleges of naturopathic
medicine in North America are National College in
Portland, Oregon; Bastyr University in
Bothell, Washington; Southwest College in Scottsdale, Arizona;
University of Bridgeport in Bridgeport, Connecticut; and
Canadian College in Ontario, Canada.
Like many states and provinces,
Hawaii's laws require
extensive post-doctoral board examination for licensure.
This policy is supported by the American Association of
Naturopathic Physicians, which also maintains high
standards of education and medical practice and
encourages scientific research.
Physician and Patient: Partners in Health
Your naturopathic physician works with you
to encourage your body's built-in healing abilities and
encourages health-promoting and disease-preventing
practices through education.
Naturopathic medicine relies upon a partnership
between the patient and the physician. The patient
should be prepared to take responsibility for their own
health and wellness, supported by the physician and the
The naturopathic physician performs a wide variety of
diagnostic tests including physical exams, laboratory
testing, gynecological exams, nutritional and dietary
assessments, metabolic analysis, allergy testing, and
X-ray examinations. Trained in a wide variety of natural
therapies, your physician will combine and tailor these
treatments to your specific needs to bring about changes
necessary to overcome disease and assure optimal health.
As with all physicians, NDs refer to other medical
specialists when appropriate.