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  1. #1
    NUHS-AUC is offline Permanently Banned 535 points
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    Opinions on Naturopathic "Medicine"

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    Naturopathic "Medicine" is it really an approved "medicine"

    Wondering to hear from MDs or DOs or any professional out there, if they would refer their patients to a Naturopath (that attended 4 years Naturopathic accredited school )
    Also, opinion about Naturopathy, i.e.

    1. Do you consider "Naturopathy" a form of quackary ?
    2. is it a legitimate profession ?
    3. Should NDs have access to Prescription drugs ? etc...

    Thanks !

  2. #2
    CARICOM-MED is offline Permanently Banned 529 points
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    If their training is comparable to MDs then why not, I think it is a legitmate profession, they need to shut down many of the diploma mills ND programs, there are only several approved 4 years ND schools that are accredited by the AANP.
    http://www.naturopathic.org/
    http://www.aanmc.org/the-schools.php

    According to the latter website, NDs are trained in same basic sciences as MDs, however clinically their training is different !

    Quote Originally Posted by NUHS-AUC View Post
    Naturopathic "Medicine" is it really an approved "medicine"

    Wondering to hear from MDs or DOs or any professional out there, if they would refer their patients to a Naturopath (that attended 4 years Naturopathic accredited school )
    Also, opinion about Naturopathy, i.e.

    1. Do you consider "Naturopathy" a form of quackary ?
    2. is it a legitimate profession ?
    3. Should NDs have access to Prescription drugs ? etc...

    Thanks !
    Last edited by CARICOM-MED; 12-10-2011 at 01:40 PM.

  3. #3
    kaplandoc is offline Newbie 510 points
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    I would say that Naturopathic medicine is preferred significantly over other CAM providers in the medical community.

  4. #4
    teratos's Avatar
    teratos is offline Jedi Moderator 658 points
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    I think naturopathic medicine is "OK". The problem is that a lot of the evidence is anecdotal. There are not many randomized studies on the effectiveness of the treatments, or on long-term outcomes. When allopaths are chanting the "evidence based medicine" mantra, it tough to get excited about this.
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    kaplandoc is offline Newbie 510 points
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    A friend of mine was suffering with chronic health complications and the only person who helped her improve was an ND. I think it would be in the best interest of the profession to place more focus on evidence based medicine if they want to earn the respect of both the allopathic community and public.

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    NUHS-AUC is offline Permanently Banned 535 points
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    Agreed,
    much of what the NDs do seem to be very low risk and safe, including things that are not EBM, like homeopathy (No toxicity known at all.)


    Quote Originally Posted by kaplandoc View Post
    A friend of mine was suffering with chronic health complications and the only person who helped her improve was an ND. I think it would be in the best interest of the profession to place more focus on evidence based medicine if they want to earn the respect of both the allopathic community and public.
    Last edited by NUHS-AUC; 12-02-2011 at 08:46 PM.

  7. #7
    numbershacker is offline Member 518 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by teratos View Post
    I think naturopathic medicine is "OK". The problem is that a lot of the evidence is anecdotal. There are not many randomized studies on the effectiveness of the treatments, or on long-term outcomes. When allopaths are chanting the "evidence based medicine" mantra, it tough to get excited about this.
    The basic problem is this:much of what they teach at naturopathic schools is the kinds of things that no drug company could ever patent-so there is little incentive for anyone to do a study. My personal sense is that the naturopathy bag of tricks is mixed-there is some stuff that works well-and others that doesn't. In general though, naturopathic cures are safe thought with the main risks being time/money.

  8. #8
    numbershacker is offline Member 518 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaplandoc View Post
    A friend of mine was suffering with chronic health complications and the only person who helped her improve was an ND. I think it would be in the best interest of the profession to place more focus on evidence based medicine if they want to earn the respect of both the allopathic community and public.
    One big problem here:
    there are relatively few naturopaths that have the kind of scientific training an MD has-and even fewer that have the training an MD/Ph.D. has. Now the other side: it takes 2 1/4 years for someone that has an MD to earn an ND. A lot US IMG's have a problem getting a US residency. Well, getting an ND degree is a way around that-anyone that gets an ND degree and passes their boards is guarenteed a licenses to practice as a naturopath.

    Earning a living as an ND is problematic. ND/MD folks seem a bit more in demand. I haven't seen good stats on this though.

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    AgActual is offline Member 525 points
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    The problem with becoming an ND is going to be finding a job once out of school. ND's can't practice in most states and the demand is low in states were they are able to practice. Besides a few places in the south west, I would say most people don't even know what an ND is. Tell 5 random people that you are a "naturopath" or "naturopathic physican" and you will probably have 5 people say "a what?".

    The statistics that I have read put an ND's pay in the $25,000-$35,000 a year range, of those that actually end up practicing. It is a pretty bleak job outlook. I have a few friends that are ND students and I always wonder how the are going to find a job and how they are going to pay back their loans.

    I would say if you want to be an ND, you have two options that you really need to explore.

    1. Become a nutritionist

    2. Get an MD and then take a few seminars in natural medicine.


    I wouldn't say naturopathy is a bad field that has no use or that the training is awful, if you go to the right school. All I am saying is that becoming an ND is extremely risky. Its all well and good to get a degree in a field that you love but you need look beyond that and ask if this is going to work as a career. Naturopathy is more often than not, a dead end.

  10. #10
    numbershacker is offline Member 518 points
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    1) an ND is NOT a path to employment. I'd guess that 95% percent of naturopaths that earn over $70K/year do so in private practice(or writing books)

    2) The business model is different for ND's and MD's. The only state in which naturopathic services are typically covered by insurance is Washington. Even here in WA, Naturopathic remedies or testing and are rarely covered by insurance.

    3) 25-35K/year is typical of ND's that aren't really suited towards doing their own practice, are inexperienced or in the startup phase of private practice. Jonathan Wright MD typically uses naturopaths as physician assistants-but appears to have a constant turnover. I doubt he's paying much-but essentially he offers ND's a chance to get experience.

    4) The real heartland of naturopathy is the Northwest. The first Naturopathic school was founded in Portland(NCNM). Bastyr in Seattle is by far the best funded program. There is also a Naturopathic school in Vancouver, BC.

    5) Is being a naturopath risky? Yep. There is a serious bifurcation between folks that make it in private practice-and those that do NOT. The average income is kind of meaningless. Yes, there are naturopaths earning $100-200K/year. There are others earning $25-35K. I tend not to see much middle ground. Typically being successful as a naturopath involves either being VERY part time(And some folks are happy with that) or being well capitalized enough to take a very long view--and having a variety of skills/attribute(i.e. being a good manager, sales person and physician).

    6) Being a nutritionist or MD with a few additional courses is really _different_ than being an ND.
    Nutritionists are largely centered around working under the direction of doctors. A lot of these folks work in hospitals-an their income is pretty low. The work of nutritionist is VERY guarded by comparison to ND's-ND's do a lot of other stuff that is more experimental or half baked(depending on your perception) Also, ND's are trained in areas like Body work, herbalism, eastern medicine that neither MD's or nutritionists are. The idea an MD can just take a few course and be equivalent to an ND is idiotic arrogance. I've known doctors with _both_ an MD and an ND-and their outlook and knowledge base is VERY different than ACAM or functional medicine docs I've met. The advance placement NCNM gives an MD is 4 quarters out of 13(I think it used to be 6 out of 13). I really doubt that most "alternative" MD's could pass the naturopathic board licensing exams by just taking a 1-2 quarters of additional coursework.

    7) The route I would say may be viable is to get an MD and an also get an ND and practice as a naturopath. This is especially important for US IMG's. Getting a residency is a crap shoot for USIMGS's. Getting an ND assures ability to practice. One thing you wouldn't have in states that are pro-naturopathy is hospital privileges. You also wouldn't have the same relationship with insurance providers. However, a US IMG that gets an ND is not the same as many ND's. Most naturopaths do NOT have the qualifications it would take to get into a US med school. My guess is that if they took the MCAT the median score would be 26 or so. The naturopaths that _could_ get into a US med school-or have passed the USMLE(as either a US grade or IMG) are a rare breed and very different in profile to the general population of naturopaths. Every indication I've seen suggests that MD/ND's typically earn more than equivalently trained MD's without the ND.

    I'm not sure how MD/ND's that lack a medical license fare economically-but I suspect it is somewhere between licensed MD's and the mainstream of the ND population. The thing is:
    in certain states those MD's that get ND's have a lot of admiration from the naturopathic community in general. I'd guess the failure rate of those folks in establishing a private practice is MUCH lower than most ND's.


    Quote Originally Posted by AgActual View Post
    The problem with becoming an ND is going to be finding a job once out of school. ND's can't practice in most states and the demand is low in states were they are able to practice. Besides a few places in the south west, I would say most people don't even know what an ND is. Tell 5 random people that you are a "naturopath" or "naturopathic physican" and you will probably have 5 people say "a what?".

    The statistics that I have read put an ND's pay in the $25,000-$35,000 a year range, of those that actually end up practicing. It is a pretty bleak job outlook. I have a few friends that are ND students and I always wonder how the are going to find a job and how they are going to pay back their loans.

    I would say if you want to be an ND, you have two options that you really need to explore.

    1. Become a nutritionist

    2. Get an MD and then take a few seminars in natural medicine.


    I wouldn't say naturopathy is a bad field that has no use or that the training is awful, if you go to the right school. All I am saying is that becoming an ND is extremely risky. Its all well and good to get a degree in a field that you love but you need look beyond that and ask if this is going to work as a career. Naturopathy is more often than not, a dead end.
    Last edited by numbershacker; 12-17-2011 at 03:27 AM.

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