What are Naturopathic Doctors?
How are Naturopathic Doctors Educated?
Licensing and Scope of Practice
Six Guiding Principles
Naturopathic doctors (NDs) are primary care doctors specializing in the use of natural treatments. They have attended 4 years of clinical graduate-level education, including training in medical diagnosis, herbal medicine, nutrition, homeopathy, and physical medicine. They must successfully complete a series of licensing board examinations and hold a license to practice in many states. Naturopathic doctors take a holistic approach and focus on treating the cause of illness and pain, not just the symptoms. Naturopathic doctors take the time to get to know your personal health history and develop individualized natural treatment plans.
Naturopathic medical colleges are four-year postgraduate schools with admissions requirements comparable to those of conventional medical schools. The degree of Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine requires four years of graduate-level study in the medical sciences including anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pathology, microbiology, immunology, pharmacology, clinical and physical diagnosis, laboratory diagnosis, cardiology, neurology, radiology, minor surgery, obstetrics, gynecology, pediatrics, dermatology and oncology Throughout the four years, there is training in naturopathic therapeutics, including therapeutic nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, natural childbirth, acupuncture, hydrotherapy, naturopathic manipulative therapy, and other therapies. The hours of coursework and supervised clinical training are comparable to traditional medical education. There are presently four professionally recognized universities of Naturopathic Medicine in the United States and two in Canada.
Naturopathic doctors are currently licensed in 17 states and Washington DC, with many other states undergoing licensing efforts. Licensing is important to protect patients from practitioners claiming to be naturopathic doctors, but have not undergone the rigorous training of graduates from the six recognized naturopathic medical schools in the US and Canada. The scope of practice of naturopathic doctors varies from state to state, but normally includes physical and laboratory diagnosis, treatment with therapeutic nutrition, supplements, botanical medicines, homeopathy, and physical medicine, and may include the use of certain prescription drugs and minor surgery.
Naturopathic Doctors Are Guided by Six Principles
1. First Do No Harm – Primum Non Nocere
Naturopathic doctor remedies and therapies that are safe and effective, to increase overall health and decrease harmful side effects..
2. Harness the Healing Power of Nature – Vis Medicatrix Naturae
The naturopathic doctor works to restore and support the powerful and inherent healing abilities of the body, mind, and spirit. Naturopathic medicine harnesses the vast potential of the natural world to stimulate the process of healing and prevent further disease from occurring..
3. Identify and Treat the Cause – Tolle Causam
The primary goal of the naturopathic doctor is to determine and treat the underlying causes of illness, rather than simply managing the symptoms..
4. Treat the Whole Person – Holism
Each person is unique and requires individualized care. In treating the cause of any condition, the naturopathic doctor takes into account not only a person’s physical symptoms but also the person who has the symptoms. Disease affects the entire person, not just a specific organ or system. Thoughts, feelings, lifestyle, family history, environmental stresses, nutritional status, and general physical state are all carefully evaluated and addressed.
5. Educate – Docere
The naturopathic doctor helps people understand health and illness, to give them the tools to live in balance and become responsible for their own health..
Naturopathic doctors focus on overall health, wellness, and disease prevention.
Dr. Wiancek is currently covered by Aetna and Cofinity in Colorado and by most insurance companies in Washington State. Please call your insurance company to request Naturopathic coverage.
If your plan does not cover Naturopathic healthcare you can still apply out-of-pocket expenses to your yearly deductible. Even without insurance coverage, many patients find that Naturopathic care is more cost-effective compared to the fees and copayments of more traditional clinics.