What is Naturopathic Medicine? Naturopathic medicine is a system of wellness-oriented healthcare and is an important part of any integrative health plan. Naturopathic medical doctors (NMD’s) seek to find, understand and remove the cause(s) of any disease, illness or symptoms. NMD’s use natural therapies (e.g. herbs, vitamins, homeopathic remedies) to bring about greater wellness and well-being for their patients. They are, also, trained to avoid the use of drugs and surgery, whenever possible.
A naturopathic medical doctor’s training is very similar to a conventional MD or DO. An NMD attends naturopathic medical school for four years (after obtaining a bachelor’s degree, requiring four years of a pre-med curriculum). Naturopathic medical schools cover all the same coursework as traditional medical schools in clinical sciences, pathology, pharmacology and diagnosis skills. Next, NMD’s are fully trained in diverse modalities such as clinical nutrition, botanical medicine (herbal medicine), homeopathy, hydrotherapy, counseling, stress management, dietary therapy and lifestyle counseling.
Naturopathic interventions are intended to support the body’s inherent healing processes and are uniquely chosen for each patient. Naturopathic medicine utilizes therapies in the form of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, herbal medicine, homeopathic remedies, dietary therapy, exercise programs and hydrotherapy treatments. Clinically and scientifically based therapies are utilized and are constantly re-examined in the light of new scientific evidence.
Naturopathic doctors encourage their patients to be participants in their own healthcare. NMD’s also work together with all a patient’s healthcare providers to provide an integrated model of care that can best be described as “team work” medicine.