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Thread: New law gives medical licenses to naturopathic doctors

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    New law gives medical licenses to naturopathic doctors


    New law gives medical licenses to naturopathic doctors
    Three local docs will be able to diagnose, treat illnesses

    By: xxxxxxxxx, Journal Staff Writer
    Thursday, December 23, 2004 5:09 AM PST

    Naturopathic doctors xxxxx, back, and his wife, xxxxxx, perform a routine checkup on a patient at their Auburn office. They are among the first in California to be licensed naturopathic doctors. Photo by xxxx/Auburn Journal
    Up until recently, naturopathic medicine practitioners in California could only be consultants in a patient's medical care. They weren't able to do lab tests, draw blood or even diagnose illnesses.

    But now thanks to a new California law, some of the first licensed naturopathic doctors will be able to be primary care physicians for thousands who seek out their care. And there are three of them in Auburn alone.

    "Because there was no licensing regulation in our profession, naturopathic doctors had to operate as a nutritionist would. So this basically put us on same level as an MD," said xxxxxxof Four Rivers Naturopathic Clinic in Auburn.

    xxxx and her husband xxxxxx started the clinic in November and are anxiously awaiting their licenses along with xxxxx, an Auburn native who has a home practice in town.

    "I'm really excited about it. What I've found is because I can't advertise I'm a doctor a lot of people don't realize what I do," xxxxx said. "Now people can be aware of alternatives, because Western medicine doesn't have all the answers. We have some, and hopefully there will be more choice for people."

    Now NDs can prescribe drugs through a supervising MD, administer intravenous fluids, draw blood, do lab tests, exams and diagnose illness.

    The biggest benefit xxxxx sees is being able to legally diagnose and treat illness, where before she could only suggest and hint at things that have helped other people.

    "The wording was different. Now I can be a little bit more direct - yes I treat this and this and not 'We get great success from doing this.' It's just easier," she said.

    The bill set to be signed into law earlier this year created the Bureau of Naturopathic Medicine under the Department of Consumer Affairs. The process of setting up this new infrastructure took time, and now finally, doctors are receiving their licenses in California.

    California is the 13th state to license naturopathic doctors.

    "It's been kind of a buyer beware. (California) had an environment in which it's hard for consumers to understand what they're getting and the difference between a well-trained naturopathic doctor and just anyone," said xxxxxx, president of the California Naturopathic Doctor's Association.

    Levy said many correspondence schools offer degrees in naturopathy that don't guarantee any medical training.In the Know: Fast naturopathic facts

    There are five approved schools of naturopathic medicine in North America.There are 150 members of the California Naturopathic Doctors Association.Four naturopathic doctors in the area were among the first to apply for their license, three in Auburn and one in Sacramento.
    Naturopathic doctors licensed by California must have a degree from an approved school and have passed the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examination to call themselves naturopathic doctors.

    While unlicensed naturopathic practitioners still have a lot to offer, Hook said, they might not have same medical background as NDs.

    Though there are still some limitations, NDs cannot deliver children or do minor surgery, these are advances on the horizon for the newly licensed naturopathic doctors. But now patients can rest assured they are receiving quality care, xxxxxxx said.

    "If you have a broken bone, we can't treat you, and if you have appendicitis, we'll know. That's the benefit for the citizens of California know they know that their doctor have training to recognize serious illness," she said.

    xxxxxxxxare both doctors originally from California who studied in Arizona but missed the nature, rolling hills and trees that of California.

    "I'm not sure we would have come here if that law wasn't passed and that's going to be true for lots of students and people who have been practicing in other states," xxxxxsaid. "This will change the face of health care in California, this is just the beginning."

    Naturopathy is a holistic medical approach that treats the entire person with the least invasive and toxic means.

    "We try to understand what is going on with the person on a physical level, an emotional level and a spiritual level. We use treatments as gentle and conservative as possible while still getting the job done," xxxxxx said.

    Patients are pleased to hear they can now see their naturopathic doctors for many of their needs.

    "I'm totally thrilled I won't go to a medical doctor unless it's absolutely necessary now that can see her for everything," said xxxxxxxxx, 38, Meadow Vista, who started seeing D'Amico this summer.

    "I was struggling with the limitations of Western medicine, and looking for any alternative that can help," she said. "And now they can do lab tests and give shots on top of what they're already capable of doing. It's so wonderful."

    The Journal's xxxxxxxx can be reached at xxxxxxxxxx
    Last edited by azskeptic; 12-22-2005 at 06:50 PM.
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    amitkumar is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Allows for better patient healthcare.
    Creates public safety in relation to alternative therapies.
    Reduces healthcare costs via prevention.
    Ultimately has a positive effect on the entire medical community.
    Heart Treatment , Ways To Lower Blood Pressure

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