Naturopathic doctors (sometimes called naturopaths) are trained as primary care physicians and are currently licensed in 18 states. In licensed states, they can diagnose and treat many medical conditions (see Conditions Treated). They can draw blood, run labs, request medical records, and perform physical and screening exams.
After completing their pre-med requirements and receiving a bachelor’s degree, they go through a vigorous 4 to 6 year graduate program through an accredited school with over 1200 hours of training. The first 2 years are similar to allopathic or conventional medical schools in that it focuses on the basic sciences (anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and pathology). The next 2 years focuses more on the clinical training aspect and treatment modalities, where we typically differ from allopathic medicine. Our treatment plans integrate both modern day science and research with more traditional natural medical approaches.
Naturopathic doctors work in private practices, hospitals, clinics and community health centers. NDs practice throughout the United States and Canada. Qualified naturopathic physicians undergo rigorous training before they become licensed health-care practitioners.
In unlicensed states, where naturopathic medicine isn’t regulated by the state, anyone can claim to be a naturopathic doctor (and some might even in licensed state who aren’t obeying the state laws). They might of received an online degree or went to an unaccredited school. However, to have a fully qualified naturopathic physician in North America, you should check if they have gone to one of the 7 accredited schools in North America, as listed by the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges (AANMC).