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Thread: ND vs. MD

  1. #1
    Caylie is offline Newbie 510 points
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    ND vs. MD

    It seems this topic would have been addressed thoroughly but I can't find much on it. Can some students, practitioners, patients, or whoever weigh in on their thoughts about NDs vs. holistic MDs? Why did you choose whichever one you did and not the other?

    I know all the basics, like length of training, different course selection, location of schools, etc. I don't know much about the ND education up close, and how it REALLY compares to a conventional med school's, or how job opportunities are for naturopaths after graduation. In practice, it sounds like the two might be very similar...or very different, I guess I don't really know.

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    CARICOM-MED is offline Permanently Banned 529 points
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    Nd / nmd /md / do / dc / dpm / dds

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    Best choices, according to scope of practice and license act in all 50 states:

    1. MD
    2. DO
    3. DC / DPM / DPT /DDS / OD (Optometry)
    4. NP
    5. ND

    Category 3 are the various para's and all are regulated & licensed in 50 states and all of provinces in Canada.

    ND is a good solid career, however, not regulated in all 50 states, and only selected few Canadian Provinces regulate it. NDs came a long way, however, will be more recognized in 10 years, same thing happened in Chiropractic, actually many DCs had dual ND/DC designation, then dropped the ND due to their broad scope....my sister in law is a DC from NUHS, now offering a ND degree, so I know much about the professions. And I'm trying to be objective about it.

    Bottom Line:
    Best choice, MD, and if you still want to do some alternatives, take CME in that field. As a FM, you can do much of what NDs do, i.e. prevention, counselling etc.....and get paid well for it.....many insurance companies will not even look at NDs for coverage....

    Cheers

  3. #12
    almondcheeks217 is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by dt View Post
    Allow me to offer an alternate viewpoint...

    given a choice of ND or MD, go for the MD 'cause you'll have much broader choices in the future. For ex,
    1. the future income is less of a concern with a MD,
    2. MD is recognized worldwide (not so with a ND - only Canada and USA),
    3. and an American residency/license will allow you to work in many countries,
    4. MD can practice 'naturopathic medicine' (see integrative medicine) but a ND cant practice conventional medicine
    Also, I'd like to add that naturopathic medicine is illegal in Tennessee and South Carolina. It is also not recognized in most states.

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    CARICOM-MED is offline Permanently Banned 529 points
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    ND & NP Vs all others

    Yes, we know, only fraction of states allow for ND licensure, the ones that do, have the ND Program schools as lobby.

    Best places to practice as ND are: Washington DC, Oregon, and Arizona where you have the corresponding schools, in most other states ANYONE can call themselves NDs, not a licensed act !!!
    Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges - Request Information

    The 7 accredited schools are:
    1. Bastyr University
    2. Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine
    3. Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine
    4. National College of Natural Medicine
    5. National University of Health Sciences
    6. Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine
    7. University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine

  5. #14
    devildoc8404's Avatar
    devildoc8404 is offline Ultimate Member 12693 points
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    This requires some definition/clarification... appropriate naturopathic treatments are hardly illegal, as they are based in principles of preventive care or effective, naturally-occurring remedies that can be prescribed by any MD or DO.

    More precisely, do you mean that practicing as an ND is illegal in TN and SC?

    My .02... purely for scope of future practice I would absolutely choose the MD/DO route over an ND degree. As an MD/DO you can do anything that an ND can do, AND you have the training to know what kinds of sketchy things to avoid. As an ND, the inverse is far from the case.

    There is a very interesting program in Integrative Medicine at Yale-Griffin, (Integrative Medicine: Yale School of Medicine and Integrative Medicine Center at Griffin Hospital), which would resonate far more with me as a patient than a caregiver with a degree in naturopathy from any of the above listed programs. There are simply far more options for the MD/DO set, and a number of interesting fellowships are available - as the individual at Arizona mentioned.

    Quote Originally Posted by almondcheeks217 View Post
    Also, I'd like to add that naturopathic medicine is illegal in Tennessee and South Carolina. It is also not recognized in most states.

    "When I haven't any
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    BA - Oregon MS - BYU MD - MU-Sofia
    Urology Resident; Clinical Research Fellow



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    Melissa. is offline Newbie 510 points
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    the huge financial risk of an N.D. degree

    Hi Caylie,

    So I attended the naturopathic school NCNM in Portland, Oregon for two years. I chose to leave the school because of issues with instructor competence and the school's lack of student support services.
    I can tell you my personal, very deeply painful realization -
    Choosing to enroll and obtain an N.D. degree is a HUGE financial gamble and burden. The school I attended, as all N.D. schools in the US, are private schools. My first year I took out the full loan amount of aprox. $40,000. My second year I got smarter and took out a lot less, and left the school after winter quarter.
    During my leave I was able to address that nagging worry in the back of my head about the financial stability of this field -
    The N.D.'s that I spoke with truly warned me - one gal who is well known here and respected said that she is shocked that the schools are still attracting so many students - she stated these issues:
    1. She's struggled incredibly to pay back loans
    (keep in mind that an N.D. can't get a job at a hospital or clinic, for the most part, and MUST start their own business)
    ***M.D.'s are able to obtain loans from a bank to start their practice, but an N.D. does not have this same opportunity.
    2. she would have, looking back, pursued an M.D. career first.
    3. the medicine of an N.D. is demanding and time-intensive, and the patients can be very needy.

    Those are several issues that she discussed with me.
    I also spoke with a recent graduate, and she was deeply saddened that she chose to complete her education as an N.D. She had a difficult time starting up and attracting patients, and the financial issue was a big problem. She even gave me her case taking 'binder' - it was like she had realized too late the huge mistake she'd made. She thought that the education would become more interesting after the first 2 years, and then felt that she had to stick it through because her loans were already stacking up. Although she stuck to it, she told me that the clinical medical just wasn't it for her. This is a super smart gal - maybe medicine wasn't right for her, but the issue appeared to be the lack of opportunities to engage her within the N.D. field.
    I know that you posted your original question quite a while ago, but I hope that my experience is useful to you. One other note - when I toured Bastyr and went to a free exam app't at their clinic I had a disturbing experience - the teaching N.D., while in the presence of one student, told me that I should rather pursue a degree in counseling and nutrition. I didn't know what to make of his comment, and when he left the room the student told me to 'ignore his words, and he has been unable to achieve the career success that he has wanted'.
    ....looking back on that comment I realize it was a warning for me to avoid this field. This comment by a N.D. who was working for Bastyr helped me realize that, although he obviously worked for the school, he wasn't making it. An M.D. in a position of working for a medical school would not be in the same position.
    I have so much more to share but I won't here - please feel free to send me an email if you have any Q's. I'm beginning to study for the MCAT and know that an M.D. degree can allow me to work anywhere in the world - as well as for humanitarian org's overseas. You can NOT do that with an N.D. degree - and in many states it's not even legal to practice (hint hint - you can't live there and make a living)
    The ideas that this medicine holds are good at heart, but in practice fall far short of ideals.
    Best with your decision making,

    Melisa

  7. #16
    CARICOM-MED is offline Permanently Banned 529 points
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    ND (Naturopathic Medicine) vs. MD (IMG)

    Re: ND vs. MD (In this case, MD "Offshore Degree")

    All TRUE
    But, here are my 2 cents of ND vs. MD (IMG)

    1. Return of Investment (ROI): at the same time, MDs have to complete 3 years of PGE, for 50K per year, while some NDs earn over 100K their first year out.....paying back their loans much faster !!
    2. Scope of Practice: NDs have very broad scope of practice, in 15 states NDs have similar scope as Primary Care MDs.
    3. Licensure: There are 15+ States that license NDs, that attend 4 Years accredited Naturopathic Medical School, and pass the NPLEX exams. With more LOANS approved, more banks will issue good line of credits upon graduation.
    4. Job Security: More hospitals open "Integrative or Alternative Medical Departments" because that is what the public want and willing to pay for. In addition, last time I saw Dr. Oz, he was talking more about Natural medicine, and less about allopathic medicine, since this is what the public is interested in.....(mmmmmmmm....)
    5. Training & Guarantee: While many on this forum "pursue MD at CARICOM-Offshore Countries" lets review basic statistics, most accredited AANMC-ND programs are in the US, and graduates are GUARANTEED license if they pass the NPLEX after graduation, while many 60-70% "offshore MDs or IMGs" US/CDN Citizen that have graduated from offshore/CARICOM, will NOT obtain residency placement, even if they pass the USMLEs leaving them with 200K+ of defaulted loans, and nothing to aim for....

    Quote Originally Posted by Melissa. View Post
    Hi Caylie,

    So I attended the naturopathic school NCNM in Portland, Oregon for two years. I chose to leave the school because of issues with instructor competence and the school's lack of student support services.
    I can tell you my personal, very deeply painful realization -
    Choosing to enroll and obtain an N.D. degree is a HUGE financial gamble and burden. The school I attended, as all N.D. schools in the US, are private schools. My first year I took out the full loan amount of aprox. $40,000. My second year I got smarter and took out a lot less, and left the school after winter quarter.
    During my leave I was able to address that nagging worry in the back of my head about the financial stability of this field -
    The N.D.'s that I spoke with truly warned me - one gal who is well known here and respected said that she is shocked that the schools are still attracting so many students - she stated these issues:
    1. She's struggled incredibly to pay back loans
    (keep in mind that an N.D. can't get a job at a hospital or clinic, for the most part, and MUST start their own business)
    ***M.D.'s are able to obtain loans from a bank to start their practice, but an N.D. does not have this same opportunity.
    2. she would have, looking back, pursued an M.D. career first.
    3. the medicine of an N.D. is demanding and time-intensive, and the patients can be very needy.

    Those are several issues that she discussed with me.
    I also spoke with a recent graduate, and she was deeply saddened that she chose to complete her education as an N.D. She had a difficult time starting up and attracting patients, and the financial issue was a big problem. She even gave me her case taking 'binder' - it was like she had realized too late the huge mistake she'd made. She thought that the education would become more interesting after the first 2 years, and then felt that she had to stick it through because her loans were already stacking up. Although she stuck to it, she told me that the clinical medical just wasn't it for her. This is a super smart gal - maybe medicine wasn't right for her, but the issue appeared to be the lack of opportunities to engage her within the N.D. field.
    I know that you posted your original question quite a while ago, but I hope that my experience is useful to you. One other note - when I toured Bastyr and went to a free exam app't at their clinic I had a disturbing experience - the teaching N.D., while in the presence of one student, told me that I should rather pursue a degree in counseling and nutrition. I didn't know what to make of his comment, and when he left the room the student told me to 'ignore his words, and he has been unable to achieve the career success that he has wanted'.
    ....looking back on that comment I realize it was a warning for me to avoid this field. This comment by a N.D. who was working for Bastyr helped me realize that, although he obviously worked for the school, he wasn't making it. An M.D. in a position of working for a medical school would not be in the same position.
    I have so much more to share but I won't here - please feel free to send me an email if you have any Q's. I'm beginning to study for the MCAT and know that an M.D. degree can allow me to work anywhere in the world - as well as for humanitarian org's overseas. You can NOT do that with an N.D. degree - and in many states it's not even legal to practice (hint hint - you can't live there and make a living)
    The ideas that this medicine holds are good at heart, but in practice fall far short of ideals.
    Best with your decision making,

    Melisa
    Last edited by CARICOM-MED; 08-15-2010 at 09:02 PM.

  8. #17
    Melissa. is offline Newbie 510 points
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    No solid stats to back up ND degree choice as a viable career

    Quote Originally Posted by UHSADOC View Post
    Re: ND vs. MD (In this case, MD "Offshore Degree")

    All TRUE
    But, here are my 2 cents of ND vs. MD (IMG)

    1. Return of Investment (ROI): at the same time, MDs have to complete 3 years of PGE, for 50K per year, while some NDs earn over 100K their first year out.....paying back their loans much faster !!
    2. Scope of Practice: NDs have very broad scope of practice, in 15 states NDs have similar scope as Primary Care MDs.
    3. Licensure: There are 15+ States that license NDs, that attend 4 Years accredited Naturopathic Medical School, and pass the NPLEX exams. With more LOANS approved, more banks will issue good line of credits upon graduation.
    4. Job Security: More hospitals open "Integrative or Alternative Medical Departments" because that is what the public want and willing to pay for. In addition, last time I saw Dr. Oz, he was talking more about Natural medicine, and less about allopathic medicine, since this is what the public is interested in.....(mmmmmmmm....)
    5. Training & Guarantee: While many on this forum "pursue MD at CARICOM-Offshore Countries" lets review basic statistics, most accredited AANMC-ND programs are in the US, and graduates are GUARANTEED license if they pass the NPLEX after graduation, while many 60-70% "offshore MDs or IMGs" US/CDN Citizen that have graduated from offshore/CARICOM, will NOT obtain residency placement, even if they pass the USMLEs leaving them with 200K+ of defaulted loans, and nothing to aim for....

    Quote Originally Posted by UHSADOC View Post
    Re: ND vs. MD (In this case, MD "Offshore Degree")

    All TRUE
    But, here are my 2 cents of ND vs. MD (IMG)

    1. Return of Investment (ROI): at the same time, MDs have to complete 3 years of PGE, for 50K per year, while some NDs earn over 100K their first year out.....paying back their loans much faster !!
    2. Scope of Practice: NDs have very broad scope of practice, in 15 states NDs have similar scope as Primary Care MDs.
    3. Licensure: There are 15+ States that license NDs, that attend 4 Years accredited Naturopathic Medical School, and pass the NPLEX exams. With more LOANS approved, more banks will issue good line of credits upon graduation.
    4. Job Security: More hospitals open "Integrative or Alternative Medical Departments" because that is what the public want and willing to pay for. In addition, last time I saw Dr. Oz, he was talking more about Natural medicine, and less about allopathic medicine, since this is what the public is interested in.....(mmmmmmmm....)
    5. Training & Guarantee: While many on this forum "pursue MD at CARICOM-Offshore Countries" lets review basic statistics, most accredited AANMC-ND programs are in the US, and graduates are GUARANTEED license if they pass the NPLEX after graduation, while many 60-70% "offshore MDs or IMGs" US/CDN Citizen that have graduated from offshore/CARICOM, will NOT obtain residency placement, even if they pass the USMLEs leaving them with 200K+ of defaulted loans, and nothing to aim for....

    I understand the desire to help patients be healthy from the 'inside out', and to prevent disease as much as possible. It's still true that many ND's must start their own business after graduation. High paying positions are rare and hospital positions are rare. Residencies, which will improve the skills of newly graduated NDs, are also rare.
    No solid stats on ND income or practice rates are out there - the AANMC study (the group that advocates and lobbies for the ND field, as well as puts on student retruitment days at local US colleges) has an unacceptable response rate for it to be taken seriously in regards to its statistics. The US government does not have statistics on pay for N.D.'s, but does for other medical fields.
    A recent graduate from an M.D. school can choose to make payments on her/his loans while in residency - the AAMC site has a great link that explores repayment options.
    On the ND side, the instructor of our business classes at NCNM told us to take out the full loan amounts while in school...and save the remaining for business start-up costs. It is not easy to get guaranteed loans from a bank like it is for recent M.D. graduates.
    If the residency rates for Caribbean med schools are that dismal, that's unfortunate. But without REAL and reliable stats for the ND profession, those offshore schools don't make the ND degree appear any better by comparison.
    I've looked hard for some good info about this degree - and it's hard to find! So I recently found some - below. I hope this is helpful!

    For an individual considering which route to pursue, this info may be helpful. It is from the book 'Educational Opportunities in Integrative Medicine: the A-to-Z healing arts guide & professional resource directory.'
    quoted:
    "The abovementioned legal and philosophy battles within their own medical field have hit NDs hard in one major area: the pocketbook. On average, NDs earn less income than similarly trained doctors in North America. The top-tier ND makes an annual income in the range of $70,000 to $100,000; however, while no actual numbers exist, informal surveys for this book indicate that many struggle financially, earn more like $40,000 per year, and believe that the handful of top-tier ND programs have not been truthful about graduate success rates. Information regarding graduate success is expected in most professional fields, such as law, business, and medicine, from universities themselves as well as publications such as U.S. News and World Report. The combination of the high opportunity cost - four years, the $80,000+ tuition, the institutional stronghold of allopathy, and the generally low salary (barring the exceptional doctor often good at self-promotion) means that you must be realistic about your ambitions and drive.
    As of 2008, unlike an ND, an MD or DO can pay off their student loans with an average entry salary of $100,000 per year. While no hard numbers exist, informal surveys of ND graduates from the major schools indicate that only 45 percent are in practice five years after graduation. If it's not true, ND career student centers should set the record straight. If it is true, ND programs are misinforming students about realistic career expectations.
    Unless there is a major change in the public perception of naturopathic medicine, paying for an ND degree may be one of the poorest returns on investment of any degree undertaken in America. Carefully consider whether naturopathy is your calling and if you are willing to sacrifice income and degree recognition. If not, there are other holistic medical options that may be more appropriate. If you are willing to accept the hardships that have come with being a pioneer, you will be needed for carrying the time-honored threat of naturopathic medical principles into a society much in need of your services - whether it currently acknowledges you or not.
    Each year several hundred clinically trained NDs graduate from the seven accredited universities in North America. This number will probably continue to grow at a slow rate until more favorable integrative health care legislation takes effect in the U.S. and Canada. Until that time, many aspiring NDs will choose to attend chiropractic, osteopathic, traditional Chinese medicine, and other schools whose degree programs lead to more reliable economic success. And until that time, success in the field of naturopathic medicine will often be more dependent on your personal sales and business building skills than on your skill level as a physician. In summary, inspecting modern naturopathic medicine from several viewpoints, including the traditional, the idealistic, the political, and the economical, will allow prospective students to make the wisest choice for their own professional careers." -pps. 126-127.

  9. #18
    CARICOM-MED is offline Permanently Banned 529 points
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    ND or NMD Degree

    Check out the recent stats from the licensing states and associations, it looks like the Naturopathic Profession is:

    1.Gaining Acceptance by many MDs(including myself.) since many procedures are now taught as "Medical electives"(Medical Acupuncture, Clinical Nutrition I.V., Chelation etc...)
    2. Collaboration: NDs/NMDs are working in Hospitals with MDs in Multidisciplinary Clinics.
    3. Scope of Practice: NDs can DDX/Rx similar to GPs. with additional modalities.
    4. Education: Accredited ND programs are now 4 years in length, with similar Basic Sciences as in MD Programs.

    Check this video from AANMC:
    Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges - ABOUT NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE

  10. #19
    yulduz82 is offline Newbie 510 points
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    60-70% "offshore MDs or IMGs" US/CDN Citizen that have graduated from offshore/CARICOM, will NOT obtain residency placement, even if they pass the USMLEs

    Really? What about SABA? Are there the same prospects for SABA graduates? How many % of SABA graduates find placements, if the statistics are available?

    Also, if possible, could somebody please educate me on the procedures required for moving to the States to obtain residency? I am originally from Canada but I am thinking of potentially moving to practice in the States after attending SABA. How can this be done in terms of obtaining visa first, and then residency, or the other way around? Basically, what is the drill?

    Thanks!!!




    Quote Originally Posted by UHSADOC View Post
    Re: ND vs. MD (In this case, MD "Offshore Degree")

    All TRUE
    But, here are my 2 cents of ND vs. MD (IMG)

    1. Return of Investment (ROI): at the same time, MDs have to complete 3 years of PGE, for 50K per year, while some NDs earn over 100K their first year out.....paying back their loans much faster !!
    2. Scope of Practice: NDs have very broad scope of practice, in 15 states NDs have similar scope as Primary Care MDs.
    3. Licensure: There are 15+ States that license NDs, that attend 4 Years accredited Naturopathic Medical School, and pass the NPLEX exams. With more LOANS approved, more banks will issue good line of credits upon graduation.
    4. Job Security: More hospitals open "Integrative or Alternative Medical Departments" because that is what the public want and willing to pay for. In addition, last time I saw Dr. Oz, he was talking more about Natural medicine, and less about allopathic medicine, since this is what the public is interested in.....(mmmmmmmm....)
    5. Training & Guarantee: While many on this forum "pursue MD at CARICOM-Offshore Countries" lets review basic statistics, most accredited AANMC-ND programs are in the US, and graduates are GUARANTEED license if they pass the NPLEX after graduation, while many 60-70% "offshore MDs or IMGs" US/CDN Citizen that have graduated from offshore/CARICOM, will NOT obtain residency placement, even if they pass the USMLEs leaving them with 200K+ of defaulted loans, and nothing to aim for....

  11. #20
    CARICOM-MED is offline Permanently Banned 529 points
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    SABA is a good offshore medical program

    SABA is a good program, and yes most will obtain residency in the US, eventhough, I found a graduate from SABA that didn't match or perhaps didn't proceed with residency for other reasons, and pursued CCNM (Naturopathic Medicine) in Canada....(Actually found many unmatched IMGs on google that are now are taking DPM/DMD/ND/DC type Programs)...Not sure what were his reasons, regardless, SABA for the most part is one of the top 5 Caribbean/offshore schools that I know...but, again IMG situation is becoming more difficult in the past 5 years, since more US medical schools and DO programs are opening up, and more spots per medical school (150-200 per class.)

    Cheers

    BTW make sure you score over 220 per USMLE & you would be able to get IM/FM or Psychiatry no problem....for surgical speciality think 240+....

    Good Luck !

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