In California, a Naturopathic Doctor is a licensed primary care doctor. We graduate from accredited medical schools that specialize in naturopathic medicine. I think there are only 7 in all of North America. During our training we complete all of the same course work that a medical doctor does. We take all of the science-based classes…the anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, etc. And we take all of the clinical classes…cardiology, pediatrics, gastroenterology, etc. Then on top of that, we also have 4 years of training in nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, counseling and physical medicine. These are all of the other things that we can use as our treatment modalities .
What really makes us different from a medical doctor is our philosophy on medicine and on healing. Of course the first point is that we would always use something natural to treat a problem before resorting to using medications. We can write prescriptions for certain things, but usually don’t need to. Secondly, we treat the whole person. There is a reason our first appointment is 90 minutes long. We really need to know a lot about you so that we can treat you not just the part of you that seem to be the problem. And, not too strangely, there is usually a connection between everything you have going on, which brings me to the third point. We always aim to treat the cause of your problems. Of course, if you treat the cause of the problem, all of the symptoms go away.