Naturopathic medicine is a distinct primary health care profession, emphasizing prevention, treatment, and optimal health through the use of therapeutic methods and substances that encourage individuals’ inherent self-healing process. The practice of naturopathic medicine includes modern and traditional, scientific, and empirical methods.
Naturopathic practice includes the following diagnostic and therapeutic modalities: clinical and laboratory diagnostic testing, nutritional medicine, botanical medicine, naturopathic physical medicine (including naturopathic manipulative therapy), public health measures, hygiene, counseling, minor surgery, homeopathy, acupuncture, prescription medication, intravenous and injection therapy, and naturopathic obstetrics (natural childbirth).
Naturopath Physician’s are trained at accredited Naturopathic Medical Schools in a four-year Doctorate program in Naturopathic Medicine. A Naturopathic Candidate must have a Bachelor degree and pre-med requirements completed before attending. The education is very similar to conventional medical school with the first two years focusing on basic sciences such as Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry, Pathology, Pharmacology and Physical and Clinical Diagnosis. The third and fourth year focuses on clinical sciences such as Gynecology, Oncology, Gastroenterology, Dermatology, Neurology and many more, meanwhile attending an internship the Bastyr Clinic and many satellite specialty clinics, specializing in areas such as Geriatrics, HIV/AIDS, Women’s Health, Homeless Youth and Oncology. Interspersed through the four-year training are classes specific to Naturopathic Medicine such as Botanical Medicine, Nutrition, Homeopathy, Counseling, Hydrotherapy, Chinese and Ayurvedic Medicine, Spinal Manipulation, et cetera. At the end of two years, the candidates take Basic Science Board Exams and after graduation (four years), the Naturopathic Physicians take Clinical Board Exams in order to obtain licensure in the State of their choice.