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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.

  2. #21
    yulduz82 is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Thanks for the reply! That's good to hear that SABA is a good school.

    I have actually been thinking of doing integrated medicine eventually, because I AM a strong believer in the least invasive and holistic approach to health. But just like you said in your other post, considering all the loopholes one would need to go through (5 yrs of MD, USMLEs, 3 yrs specializing, licensing, testing, then taking all these workshops or classes in all these alternative med approaches, etc., etc...), wouldn't it be easier to just do ND?.. Even though having an MD would make me feel much more secure and confident, it is sooooo long!..
    But on the other hand, I just looked at how much a fresh ND should expect in terms of salary... Yeah, not impressive. It kind of looks like you would spend the same time building your reputation and growing your business before you achieve the same income level as you would studying for an MD 8 yrs?...
    But.., and this is very important for me. When you study for an ND, THEY LET YOU SLEEP AT NIGHT! And you never have to be on call, no night shifts! God this aspect of being a med student really scares me!..




    Quote Originally Posted by UHSADOC View Post
    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 !

  3. #22
    CARICOM-MED is offline Permanently Banned 529 points
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    MD vs. NS Pros & Cons

    Yes, lifestyle is different, between the two.....but, you are comparing clerkship years...Residency is by far harder R1 was the hardest for me, in comparison the clerkship years....while ND Interns, are going through 8-6pm shifts...MD interns are putting in at least 20 hrs more per week....

    Some NDs make as much MDs, even more....and I know many MDs are now practicing as NDs, because they are sick and tired dealing with insurance companies, and much rather see cash patients....

    Oh well, live and learn,

    Cheers,

  4. #23
    Christopher S. Nawoichik is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by NatStudent View Post
    Hi Caylie,

    I am a student at Bastyr University. I just completed my first year in the ND program. I too had the same debate you are having when I was applying to schools. I took the MCAT and was happy with my score, and was accepted at a few different MD schools. But ultimately I chose to go to Bastyr, and am so happy with my decision. I truly believe in the connection between the mind and the body, how mental health affects physical health and vice versa. I think there is a need for both naturopathic medicine and conventional medicine in patient care. At accredited naturopathic schools, we are trained in the same basic sciences as conventional medical students. I just completed my first year, and let me tell you, it was VERY challenging, the hardest year I have ever had- and I come from a very strong academic background with a 3.9 g.p.a. as an undergrad, just to put it into perspective. The last two years of school we focus on clinical care and naturopathic therapies. We do learn pharmacology and in the state of Washington are licensed to prescribe pharmaceuticals, but we use this as a last resort because most conditions can be treated naturally- using herbal medicine, hydrotherapy, counseling, homeopathy, medical nutrition. We focus on finding the cause and avoid suppression of symptoms without dealing with the root of the problem. We spend two hours with a new patient and an hour with followup patients, listening to every detail of their physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health, because all of these aspects contritute to the well-being of the particular individual. It is difficult to be as financially successful as some specialty MD's, but if you are passionate about something you will want to work hard at it because it won't feel like work. With hard work follows success. Don't be scared, there is less than a one percent default rate on student loans for graduates of naturopathic medical schools, so you will be able to pay them back. Remember why you are doing this, it's not all about money. Although some naturopaths do further their education to specialize in chinese medicine and acupuncture, naturopathic oncology, etc., most of us are primary care physicians and are not competing against medical doctors, but want to collaborate with them to ensure the best care possible for the patient. I love and believe in what I am learning in school, and am completely happy with my choice in pursuing an ND. I hope this gives some inspiration to some pre-med students out there considering naturopathic medicine. If holistic care speaks to you, then follow your heart, despite what skeptics may say about it. They just don't know.
    Thank you. This was most helpful.
    Last edited by Christopher S. Nawoichik; 08-26-2012 at 11:49 PM.

  5. #24
    devildoc8404's Avatar
    devildoc8404 is offline Ultimate Member 12693 points
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    The objective is what you are after, and if the goal is solely money, then nothing will really suffice.

    The objective is great... but if you don't make enough to clear overhead and feed your family, then how do you keep the practice open and continue to help people? It is NOT all about the money (or, at least, it oughtn't be), but there is also something to be said for making sure that you can actually keep doing what you set out to do.

    I think NDs are building a great reputation in the US today due to the large self-health movement that's taking place.

    I think that movement goes well beyond NDs to include DOs, DCs, and holistically-minded MDs. Among others.

    I am considering Naturopathic Medical School myself, as I am changing careers. It is a large switch because I'm coming from the military.

    I come from a military background, myself. I am convinced that an MD or DO degree would still make more sense as far as being able to affect positive change in the lives of patients and still be able to keep a roof over one's head... not to mention seriously expanding the numbers of places in which one could practice.

    Thus I am passionate about educating people and helping them learn how to take better care of themselves. I would also like the responsibility of being a doctor that sees the whole patient as a "person" and not just as a client.

    None of those ideals are in any way limited to the ND philosophy. In fact, DO schools preach the exact same thing, and provide a far broader scope for practice and therapy.

    The whole idea reminds me of the old days when there was more of a genuine relationship between the health care provider and the patient.

    Becoming that kind of provider has nothing to do with the letters after your name. You become that kind of doctor because you want to become that kind of doctor, MD, DO, ND, or otherwise.

    I still see absolutely no advantage to the ND degree -- especially over DO school, which seems more holistically bent anyway -- aside from the fact that it is probably easier to get accepted, and there is no residency requirement (NOT a true benefit unless one is trying to cut clinical corners, which is a crap idea).

    Become a good, compassionate, holistically-minded, patient-centered doc, definitely... but don't cut yourself off at the knees before you even get a chance to start practicing!

    Good luck to you, whatever you decide to do.

    "When I haven't any
    blue... I use red
    ."
    - Pablo Picasso

    BA - Oregon MS - BYU MD - MU-Sofia
    Urology Resident; Clinical Research Fellow



  6. #25
    axiomofchoice is offline Senior Member 6116 points
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    The MD/DO degree lets you be any kind of doctor you want to be.

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