Naturopathic Physicians (N.D.s) are primary health care practitioners. They are trained to be the doctor first seen by the patient for general health care, for advice on keeping healthy, and for the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic conditions. They also serve those whose treatment by conventional means has not met their needs and who seek naturopathic care as an alternative.
The current scope of naturopathic practice includes, but not limited to:
Naturopathic practice excludes the use of most synthetic drugs and major surgery.
Naturopathic physicians are well trained in all modern methods of diagnostic testing and imaging including X-ray, ultrasound, and other imaging techniques.
The majority of Naturopathic Physicians are in general, private practice. Some N.D.'s, however, choose to emphasize particular treatment modalities (see above), or may concentrate on particular medical fields (pediatrics, gynecology, allergies, arthritis, etc.).
The N.D. course of study is an intensive four-year graduate program including approximately 4,500 hours of academic and clinical training. The program leads to licensure as a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (N.D.). It is important to distinguish certified naturopathic physicians from non-certified who have completed just a short-term course-work mostly by correspondence.
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