Naturopathic Medicine is a philosophy of medicine practiced by a naturopathic physician. Naturopathic physicians are medical practitioners that attended a 4-year accredited post-graduate medical school that trains and educates primary care physicians to diagnose and treat patients with acute and chronic illness from a holistic perspective. The training consists of both classroom and clinical rotations. There is a strong emphasis on prevention and wellness, as well as causing as little harm as possible to the individual on their health journey.
A naturopath is not defined by the treatment modalities they prescribe. It is the reason treatments are recommended that is at the heart of naturopathic medicine. Naturopathic physicians are trained in homeopathy, botanical medicines, pharmaceutical medicines, orthomolecular supplements (vitamins, minerals, amino acids), hydrotherapy, minor surgery, Chinese medicine and acupuncture, naturopathic physical medicine, and lifestyle/diet modifications.
Naturopathic physicians are currently licensed in 22 states within the United States and there are 5 schools in the United States training naturopathic physicians.
Individuals who call themselves naturopathic physicians do not get training from online, non-accredited schools or businesses. In an unlicensed state, such as Indiana and Kentucky, it is crucial that individuals question a “naturopath” about their training to discern if the individual is actually a naturopathic physician; or simply someone claiming to be a naturopath or traditional naturopath after purchasing a degree online.