A licensed naturopathic doctor (ND) attends a 4-year, graduate-level naturopathic medical school. These schools have rigorous admissions requirements that are comparable to other conventional medical schools. They are accredited by the Council of Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME), which is a programmatic accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
NDs are trained in the same medical sciences as a medical doctor (MD); including anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, immunology, physical and clinical diagnosis, cardiology, pulmonology, gastroenterology, urology, gynecology, dermatology, neurology, radiology, minor surgery, obstetrics, pediatrics, psychology, and pharmacology.
Differing from MDs, NDs are also trained in specialized naturopathic techniques that can include therapeutic nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, natural childbirth, acupuncture, ayurvedic medicine, hydrotherapy, massage therapy, physiotherapy, naturopathic manipulative therapy, and counseling.
There are seven accredited schools of naturopathic medicine across North America. These include:
- Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine (BINM) in Vancouver, BC, Canada
- Bastyr University (BU) in Seattle, WA and San Diego, CA
- National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM) in Portland, OR
- Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine (SCNM) in Scottsdale, Arizona
- National University of Health Sciences (NUHS) in Chicago, IL
- University of Bridgeport in Bridgeport, Connecticut
- Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) in Toronto, ON, Canada.
In order to be licensed, naturopathic doctors must pass the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examination (NPLEX), which is a national exam that covers Part I for biomedical sciences between the 2nd and 3rd year of education and Part II for clinical sciences after the 4th year of education.
Upon successful completion of the NPLEX, naturopathic doctors in Oregon must be licensed by the Oregon Board of Naturopathic Medicine (OBNM) which monitors and regulates the profession. OBNM further requires that Oregon licensees complete 50 hours of continuing education each year.
What to Expect at an ND Visit →