To be a Naturopathic Doctor you must have attended one of the seven accredited naturopathic medical programs in North America. This differentiates practitioners with training and expertise apart from those who may have minimal to no training. This helps patients discern who truly has expertise in field. It is now popular to say you practice naturopathic medicine —yet anyone can say so, whether they studied for a weekend, online or ten years. Naturopahtic medicine encompases other catch phrases and certifications that practitioners are using such as natural medicine, holistic medicine, integrative medicine, functional medicine - these things are all taught at a naturopathicmedical school and fall under the field of naturopathic medicine.
AANMC Member Schools:
Currently, 17 states, the District of Columbia, and the United States territories of Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands have licensing or regulation laws for naturopathic doctors. In these states, naturopathic doctors are required to graduate from an accredited four-year residential naturopathic medical school and pass an extensive postdoctoral board examination (NPLEX) in order to receive a license. For information about the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examination Board (NPLEX) and the North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners (NABNE), please see the AANMC education page.
Licensed naturopathic physicians must fulfill state-mandated continuing education requirements annually, and will have a specific scope of practice defined by their state's law. The states that currently have licensing laws for naturopathic physicians are:
A licensed naturopathic physician (ND) attends a four-year, graduate-level naturopathic medical school and is educated in all of the same basic sciences as an MD, but also studies holistic and nontoxic approaches to therapy with a strong emphasis on disease prevention and optimizing wellness.