The Not So Common Naturopathic Doctor

November 30, 2012 in Medical Careers

naturopathic doctor

Careers in the healthcare field are abundant.  Looking for the right one for you can be a breeze by just doing a little research.  Many of these careers are extremely rewarding and a big plus also being that many are in high demand and are expected to be for quite some time.  There are a wide range of careers that are available from the traditional to the exotic.  It is just a matter of preference.

One not so common healthcare career is that of a Naturopathic Doctor (ND).  An ND practices a form of medicine that blends centuries-old, natural, non-toxic therapies with current advances in the study of health and human systems.  Naturopathic medicine covers all aspects of family health, with its focus on the patient as a “whole.”  Each patient is an individual, so a general treatment is not acceptable.  An individual treatment plan is tailored to the individual patient’s needs, placing a strong emphasis prevention and self-care.

There are 6 fundamental principles when it comes to naturopathic medicine:

  • The healing power of nature:  Trust in the body’s inherent wisdom to heal itself
  • Identify and treat the causes:  Look for the underlying cause, beyond the symptoms
  • First do no harm:  Use the therapies that are natural, least invasive and least toxic
  • Doctor as teacher:  Educate patients in the steps to achieving and maintaining health
  • Treat the whole person:  View the body as an integrated whole in all its physical and spiritual dimensions
  • Prevention:  Focus on overall health, wellness and disease prevention

Education

To become a licensed naturopathic physician you must attend a naturopathic medicine program.  In order to be admitted you must have a bachelor of science degree, including three year of pre-medical studies.  The curriculum is similar to that of an allopathic or osteopathic medical school.

Prerequisites to a naturopathic medicine program include college-level courses in physics, biology, and general and organic chemistry.  Mathematics and psychology are usually required also.  To strengthen your application make sure you also have under your belt anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, botany, and/or developmental psychology.

Schools want to produce excellent naturopathic doctors so they look for applicants who are intelligent, curious and capable of high-level critical thinking, yet also intuitive, flexible and imaginative.  It goes without saying, but it’s a must for the applicant to have internal qualities such as empathy, integrity, perseverance, and a strong belief in the efficacy of natural medicine.

Look for programs that are accredited in naturopathic medicine.  The Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Schools is your best resource for this.

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