What is Naturopathic Medicine?

Naturopathic doctors recognize that the body has an inherent self-healing ability that is ordered and intelligent. The role of the Naturopathic physician is to identify and remove the obstacles that are preventing healing from occurring, (whether it be physical, emotional, mental or chemical imbalances) and then administers treatments to effectively boost the healing process and strengthen the body. Remedies or treatment processes used are centuries old natural, nontoxic therapies with the latest advances in science and technology. Naturopathic medicine employs the following philosophy, which is at the heart of our core beliefs.

Utilize the healing power of nature (herbs, hydrotherapy, supplements, organic whole foods, fresh air and pure water)
Treat the whole person; body, mind, and spirit
First, do no harm. Start with the least invasive therapies first
Identify and treat the cause
Prevention is the best cure
Educate and empower patients to achieve and sustain optimal health

What training does a licensed Naturopathic Physician (ND) receive?

Naturopathic physicians are trained as primary health care providers. They attend a four-year, accredited and graduate-level naturopathic medical school. They are educated in the same basic sciences as an MD, but their studies also include holistic and natural nontoxic approaches such as clinical nutrition, acupuncture, homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, psychology, and counseling. Naturopathic physicians like MD’s in the US are subjected to rigorous professional board exams to be licensed by a state or jurisdiction as a primary care general practice physician. Additional information on naturopathic schools can be found at the American Association of Naturopathic Medical Colleges

I never heard about Bastyr University?

Bastyr University is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of alternative medicine. It is one of the four accredited natural medicine universities in North America, and one of the foremost and largest natural sciences universities in the USA. The curriculum combines a multidisciplinary approach with leading edge research and clinical training. Bastyr research department http://www.bastyr.edu/research/ evaluates natural medicine practices and is involved in epidemiological and basic science studies and clinical trials.

Why doesn’t my MD know about this treatment?

Medical doctors have a different medical model system and treatment administration. The conventional model focuses on relief (palliation), suppression of symptoms with surgery, medications or radiation. They are trained to treat diseases, which are specific to one organ or system, rather than looking at the interconnected workings of the entire body. That method of treatment does not always address the true underlying cause.

Do naturopathic medical schools include clinical experience as part of their education?

Yes, like MD medical students, ND medical students have 2 years of clinical experience prior to graduating from medical school. There are some differences in setting and responsibility: MD’s have both inpatient (e.g. emergency care) and outpatient rotations (e.g. family practice), since they have historically served patients in both settings. ND’s have outpatient rotations, since ND’s serve patients on an outpatient basis. ND students also participate in community preceptorships with other licensed health care practitioners, which may involve inpatient care. ND students are given greater responsibility for patient care. For example at Bastyr University in Seattle, an ND student has primary patient responsibility under licensed supervision for 21 of their 24 clinical rotations. At the University of Washington also located in Seattle, of the 10 clinical rotations, only during the psychiatry rotation is MD students given full patient responsibilities under licensed supervision.

Do naturopathic doctors complete residency programs?

In the United States, only Utah mandates a 1-year residency. There are formal residency programs affiliated with the 7 accredited naturopathic medical schools in North America. Many new graduates also seek out informal residencies with experienced ND’s or MD’s. Naturopathic medicine is currently an outpatient medical field; consequently, a naturopathic residency is an outpatient residency. However, residents may have one or more integrative medicine rotations that involve observation and/or participation at a conventional medical office or facility. When ND’s are employed by hospitals, they provide integrative care as part of a multidisciplinary team or are employed as researchers (e.g. Cancer Treatment Centers of America). Medicine is in the process of change. For better or for worse, conventional medicine is splitting physician care into purely hospital-based or purely outpatient-based. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants are already practicing as primarily outpatient providers. Naturopathic doctors offer another dimension to the growing outpatient field and have much to offer patients who seek to prevent hospitalizations.

What should I expect in the first Appointment?

Visit New Patients page

Do Naturopathic doctors prescribe medication?

I was able to legally prescribe pharmaceuticals in Washington State, USA, the place where I was originally licensed. Trinidad does not license naturopathic doctors, thus I am not permitted to prescribe. My practice will center on using natural, noninvasive methods for healing and my knowledge of pharmaceutical medication would be an asset in this process.

Where are you located?

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