Naturopathic medicine is a system of health-focused medicine that stresses health maintenance and disease prevention. Naturopathic doctors (ND) believe that the root cause of an illness must be identified and removed. ND's see an array of acute and chronic illnesses, and utilize clinical and diagnostic testing, imaging, and other techniques to diagnose conditions. ND's use therapies from the following sciences: clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, physical medicine, hydrotherapy, counseling and stress management Some doctors have advanced training in the specialties of Chinese medicine and acupuncture and natural childbirth. Treatments are tailored to the individual needs of each patient Naturopathic doctors cooperate with other branches of medical science, referring patients to other practitioners for diagnosis and treatment when appropriate.
A Naturopathic Doctor earns a doctorate in naturopathic medicine from a four year, graduate level naturopthic medical college. Requirements for admission are comparable to those of conventional medical schools. The N.D. degree requires four years of graduate study in the following medical sciences: Cardiology, Gynecology, Neurology, Pathology, Biochemistry ,Immunology, Pharmacology, Pediatrics, Minor Surgery, Naturopathic Obstetrics, Chinese medicine, Anatomy and Physiology,Counseling, Oncology and Clinical/Laboratory Diagnosis.
In addition to the standard medical curriculum, naturopathic doctors also complete extensive study and practice in natural therapeutics. Prior to practicing, naturopathic graduates must pass a national licensing board examination, and are then subject to review by the a state board of examiners.
Naturopathic medicine is founded on a time-honored principle: nature heals. Defined in terms of health, ND's believe mat there is an inborn intelligence and wisdom that directs the body and its innate healing process (the healing power of nature or vis medicatrix naturae).
In accordance with the ancient rule primum non nocere (first do no harm), an ND utilizes the most effective treatment with the least side effects and complications. Conscious effort is made to use treatment methods that do not suppress symptoms. Naturopaths work with patients to uncover the cause of an illness and assist in rebalancing the body by removing the underlying problem. A well-informed patient and skilled doctor form a partnership for effective health care, health promotion, and disease prevention. The root meaning of the word "doctor" is teacher. You are likely to receive information about your condition and it's treatment options from your doctor. When both the doctor and the patient understand the disease process, they are better able to work together in the restoration of health.