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Thread: ND vs. MD

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    Caylie is offline Newbie 510 points
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    ND vs. MD

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    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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    DoctorJ is offline Junior Member
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    Integrative Medicine

    Quote Originally Posted by Caylie View Post
    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.
    I would rather be a MD practicing Integrative Medicine which is the combination of convention medicine (western) and evidence based complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).

    Conventional medicine is the only way to go in cases of life threatening emergencies and some CAM modalities are good for treating chronic illness and disease prevention.

    Why not do both? Why limit yourself to only naturalpathic modalies? There are more than 40 academic centers for integrative medicine in N America at major medical schools.

    I'm a fellow in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona directed by Andrew Weil, MD and I love it. There are also Integrative Medicine in Residency programs in 9 pilot Family Medicine Residencies right now.

    The ability to be able to prescribe antibiotics and do procedures when absolutely needed and the ability to use phytotherapies and other CAM modalities to treat patients is exciting. Just my 0.02.

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    Caylie is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Can you tell me more about the Integrative Medicine fellowship? I've read the website but it doesn't have as much information as I wanted. How many students are in the fellowship, and do most do it straight out of residency (usually primary care?) or are many already established in careers? What are some typical patients and integrative treatments?

    I have also heard naturopaths work at some of the clinics- is that true?

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    NatStudent is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Naturopathic medicine vs. conventional medicine

    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.

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    dt
    dt is offline Elite Member 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.

    ...

    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

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    atropine is offline Member 512 points
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    Can someone here provide me with 1 single treatment provided by NDs which gets to the "root" of the problem where an MD treating the disease does not? Because in fact, the opposite is usually the case.

    Do NOT go to a naturopath school if you want to practice genuine medicine and actually help people. Naturopaths rip people off and con them out of their money. A few things they do are helpful, but a large percentage of what they do is 100% quackery. I'm hoping that most of them don't even realize this, and that they aren't knowingly deceiving people.

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    phillypd is offline Member 510 points
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    wow, that's kinda harsh...i wouldn't call them quacks...
    Acually natural medicine is a REAL practice..whether you know it or not. Just as conventional medicine is a real practice..most medical conditions that we deal with in western medicine can be dealt with on a more natural basis. Diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure...just to name a few..but since the drug companies have the US in a choke hold...and it's all about money from the insurance co..doctors are pressured into prescribing pills. And if you don't know...most pills are rooted from a natural source...and the others are made to mimic a natural source. You'll see when you take your med pharm class.
    I'm not a ND nor am i trying to be one...but i did give some thought to obtaining a ND in addition to my MD that i will be getting. Osteopathic schools were natural medical schools..(read the history) they were teaching alternatives to MD medicine. And over the years they have evolved to what they are today, which is going to happen with ND medicine.
    Naturalpathy is practiced all over the world, in almost every culture including ours. Before evidenced based medicine, how do you think the world survived? They practiced natural medicine to cure sickness! Everything evolves, just as people used to smoke weed to get high (which is a natural plant). Now because of technology, people use man made things such as herion, meth, and the like to get high. This is the same with medicine..b4 technology natural things were used, now we use more man made remedies to subside or sickness.
    I am the future of Healthcare
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    BrendaB_MD is offline Senior Member 510 points
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    Last edited by BrendaB_MD; 11-09-2009 at 08:02 PM.

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    eastern2western is offline Senior Member 46 points
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    good story

    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.
    personally, i do not believe people would choose going to nd school over md school, my personal opinion is mds can do what ever nds do and nds are limited in their practices. if you want to be a nd, then it is best is just finished a md school and intergrate nd practice into your practice, then at the end, hitting two birds with one stone, if you just going for nd, then a lot of times you might just hit one bird with one stone

  10. #10
    jackets5 is offline Senior Member 682 points
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    i call Bull on this post. Anyone smart enough to be accepted to med school is going to be able to realize you can do all the crap naurtopathic stuff and still have a solid background to actually treat diseases and help people. These people along with NP's etc should be much more highly regulated in what they can do as they both severely lack the training to make decisions about people health care.

    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.

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