Naturopathic doctors (N.D.s) are primary care physicians, most of whom are in general private practice. They are trained to be the doctor first seen by the patient for general healthcare, for advice on keeping healthy, and for the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic conditions. They also serve those whose treatment by conventional means has not met their needs and who seek naturopathic care as an alternative, or as a complement, to allopathic treatment.

While N.D.s are trained to be primary care physicians, some N.D.s choose to emphasize particular treatment methods (see below) and others may concentrate on particular medical fields such as pediatrics, gynecology, allergies, arthritis, etc. Even though it has its own therapeutic specialties, naturopathic medicine also incorporates the natural therapies of many different healing traditions. What makes a therapy part of the naturopathic scope of practice is the way it is applied, i.e., on the basis of the six naturopathic principles of healing. The current scope of naturopathic practice includes, but is not limited to:

Naturopathic practice also includes the use of any medical substances that contain elements that are components of bodily tissues or can be employed by the body for the maintenance of life and the repair of tissues as well as all methods of diagnostic testing and imaging, including X-ray and ultrasound. The current scope of practice excludes major surgery and the use of many synthetic drugs. "Scope of practice" is defined specifically by the practice acts in the various states and provinces that license or regulate naturopathic medicine, and practice varies significantly among states, provinces and countries.

Return to NCNM Home Page
Return to Clinic Page