The Naturopathic Physician

Naturopathic Physicians (NDs or NMDs) are general practitioners trained as specialists in natural medicine. They are educated in the conventional medical sciences, but they are not orthodox medical doctors (MDs). Naturopathic physicians treat disease and restore health using therapies from the sciences of clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, physical medicine, exercise therapy, counseling, acupuncture, natural childbirth, and hydrotherapy. They tailor these approaches to the needs of an individual patient. Naturopathic medicine is effective in treating most health problems, whether acute or chronic. Naturopathic physicians cooperate with all other branches of medical science referring patients to other practitioners for diagnosis or treatment when appropriate.

In practice, naturopathic physicians perform physical examinations, laboratory testing, gynecological exams, nutritional and dietary assessments, metabolic analysis, allergy testing, x-ray examinations, and other diagnostic tests. They are the only primary care physicians clinically trained in the use of a wide variety of natural therapeutics. They combine and tailor these treatments to the needs of the individual based on a cogent philosophy that acknowledges the patient as a participant.

The naturopathic physician has a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND) degree from a four-year graduate level medical college. In states where they are regulated, naturopathic physicians must pass either a national or a state level board examination, and their actions are subject to review by a State Board of Examiners.

Source: American Association of Naturopathic Physicians