Educational Colleges & Organizations
After completion of standard premedical undergraduate coursework, a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) then completes a four-year, in-residence doctoral naturopathic medical program and is educated in all of the same basic sciences as an M.D. or D.O. – but also studies holistic and natural approaches to therapy with a strong emphasis on disease prevention and optimizing wellness.
The training consists of comprehensive study of the conventional medical sciences including: anatomy, physiology, pathology, microbiology, immunology, clinical and physical diagnosis, laboratory diagnosis, cardiology, gastroenterology, gynecology, etc. The naturopathic education is unique in that Naturopathic Doctors complete extensive academic and clinical education in the use of natural medicines and that the training is based on the principles of naturopathic medicine.
In addition to a standard medical curriculum, the Naturopathic Doctor is required to complete four years of training in clinical nutrition, homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, psychology, and counseling (to encourage people to make lifestyle changes in support of their personal health). The naturopathic program includes two full years of supervised clinical training. Completion of optional residency is also available to some graduates. A Naturopathic Doctor takes a rigorous national licensing examination so that he or she may be licensed by a state or jurisdiction. Additional information on naturopathic schools can be found from the American Association of Naturopathic Medical Colleges.
Naturopathic Doctors are trained to perform physical exams, laboratory testing, nutritional and dietary assessments, allergy testing, imaging, and other means of diagnosis. Naturopathic Doctors refer patients to other specialists and health care providers for diagnosis and treatment when indicated. In licensed states, NDs practice as independent primary care general practitioners, with the ability to diagnose and treat medical conditions, perform physical exams, and order laboratory testing. In these states, many patients health care consumers specifically choose NDs as their primary care providers.
In unlicensed states, like Virginia, Naturopathic Doctors are not able to offer all of the services that they are trained to provide.
Naturopathic medicine has an independent accrediting agency, the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME), which is the only federally recognized authority for establishing and maintaining the educational standards for the naturopathic medicine profession in the United States. The CNME for the ND degree is equivalent to the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) that is the accrediting authority for medical education programs leading to the M.D. degree, and to the American Osteopathic Association’s (AOA) Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP) that is the accrediting authority leading to the D.O. degree.
The Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges (AANMC) was established twenty years ago, to propel and foster the naturopathic medical profession by actively supporting the academic efforts of accredited and recognized schools of naturopathic medicine. AANMC offers seven accredited naturopathic medical programs and eight campus locations in North America.
AANMC Member Schools:
14500 Juanita Dr. NE, Kenmore, Washington 98028-4966
Phone: (425) 823-1300
Bastry University – California Campus
4106 Sorrento Valley Boulevard
San Diego, California 92121-1407
Phone: (858) 246-9700
National University of Health Sciences
200 East Roosevelt Road
Lombard, IL 60148
Phone: (630) 629-2000
Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences
2140 E. Broadway Rd., Tempe, Arizona 85282
Phone: (480) 858-9100
University of Bridgeport – School of Naturopathic Medicine
Health Science Center, 60 Lafayette Street, Bridgeport, Connecticut 06604
Phone: (800) EXCEL UB (392-3582) ext. 4108
Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine
1255 Sheppard Avenue East, Toronto, Ontario, M2K 1E2
Phone: (416) 498-1255, Toll Free: 1-866-241-2266
Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine
Boucher Centre, 300-435 Columbia Street, New Westminster, British Columbia, V3L 5N8