Naturopathic Medicine is based on two fundamental principles: first, that within every human being are intrinsic, natural healing mechanisms, which are responsible for our ability to maintain health and overcome illness. Second, that the therapies used should promote these healing mechanisms in the least invasive and most effective manner possible. Therefore, naturopathic physicians serve both as primary care doctors as well as specialists in treating a wide variety of diseases with therapeutic nutrition, homeopathy, botanical medicines, physical therapy techniques (exercise, massage, ultrasound, electrotherapy), acupuncture, hydrotherapy, and lifestyle counseling. Diagnosis includes identifying the underlying causes of disease, and all treatments are customized to meet the unique needs of the individual. By activating the natural healing mechanisms of the body, treatments are usually very gentle, safe, and create lasting results.
All licensed naturopathic physicians have graduated from a four-year naturopathic medical school after completeing conventional pre-med requirements at the under-graduate level. The first two years of naturopathic medical school consist of basic medical sciences such as anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, physical and clinical diagnosis, etc. The second two years combine the study of the entire range of human disease in courses such as gynecology, pediatrics, endocrinology, cardiology, gastroenterology, etc. with emphasis on the application of naturopathic therapies along with additional coursework in clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, physical medicine and lifestyle counseling. Clinical training is integrated throughout the final two years of curriculum. Upon completion of training, students are awarded a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine degree (N.D.). Graduates of accredited naturopathic medical schools must pass a national professional licensing exam to become licensed as naturopathic physicians in Connecticut.
Currently, naturopathic physicians are licensed in Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. In Canada, naturopathic physicians are licensed in Ontario, British Columbia, Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan. Naturopathic licensure campaigns are underway in many other states and provinces.
To learn more about naturopathic medicine, visit the website of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians at www.naturopathic.org.
To learn more about naturopathic medical education visit the website of the American Association of Naturopathic Medical Colleges at www.aanmc.org