The qualification of a medically trained ND is key, and an important distinction. For example, in Virginia, a person with any type of training may call themselves an ND due to the lack of credentialing available in the Commonwealth for naturopathic doctors who are medically trained. Verified access to providers who are held accountable is essential. In society, we appreciate knowing that our medical doctors and lawyers are being held accountable for their skills and ethics. We also value regulating plumbers, electricians, cosmetologists and other professions for obvious reasons of public safety. Accordingly, the same value should be placed on making sure Virginians have safe access to qualified, medically trained naturopathic doctors. Licensing enables patients this access and also provides an environment where NDs can practice at least to a fuller scope of their primary care training, which attracts more providers to relocate to practice in such states. We know in states where NDs have a practice license, the number of NDs practicing in those states exponentially increased after that practice license was put into place.
To find a medically trained naturopathic doctor in Virginia, please go to www.vaanp.org. As an organization, the Virginia Association of Naturopathic Physicians values the professional standards of training and continuing education that regulation enforces, therefore all our professional members are required to maintain their ND license in a jurisdiction that does license NDs.
If you are interested in becoming a naturopathic doctor or learning more about naturopathic medicine check out the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education.
Dr. Sarah Giardenelli is a naturopathic doctor, acupuncturist, and owner of Collective Health Center in Leesburg, VA, with a mission to change the health of the community one patient at a time.
1. Vincent C, Furnham A. Why do patients turn to complementary medicine? An empirical study. Br J Clin Psychol. 1996;35 ( Pt 1):37-48.
2. Furnham A, Kirkcaldy B. The health beliefs and behaviours of orthodox and complementary medicine clients. Br J Clin Psychol. 1996;35 ( Pt 1):49-61.
3. Herman PM, Szczurko O, Cooley K, Seely D. A naturopathic approach to the prevention of cardiovascular disease: cost-effectiveness analysis of a pragmatic multi-worksite randomized clinical trial. J Occup Environ Med. 2014;56(2):171-176. doi:10.1097/JOM.0000000000000066
4. Herman PM, Szczurko O, Cooley K, Mills EJ. Cost-effectiveness of naturopathic care for chronic low back pain. Altern Ther Health Med. 2008;14(2):32-39.
5. The Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the United States. NCCIH. https://nccih.nih.gov/research/statistics/2007/camsurvey_fs1.htm. Published December 22, 2011. Accessed June 9, 2018.