EDUCATION AND TRAINING
As physicians, licensed Naturopathic Physicians are trained at accredited, four to five-year, post-graduate, medical institutions. The education is composed of both academic and clinical training. The first two years feature a comprehensive study of the Western medical sciences, including anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pathology, microbiology, immunology, clinical and physical diagnosis, and laboratory diagnosis.
The second half of training focuses on the clinical aspects of medicine: endocrinology, gynecology, pharmacology, cardiology, gastroenterology, dermatology, etc. During this stage, students complete extensive outpatient rotations in naturopathic medicine, homeopathy, clinical nutrition, counseling, and physical medicine. All training is conducted under the supervision of experienced physicians (N.D.s and M.D.s) and involves complete patient evaluations, laboratory testing, monitoring, and treatment.
The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae)
The healing power of nature is the inherent self-organizing and healing process of living systems. Naturopathic medicine recognizes this healing process to be ordered and intelligent. It is the naturopathic physician’s role to support, facilitate and augment this process by identifying and removing obstacles to health and recovery and by supporting the creation of a healthy internal and external environment.
Find The Cause (Tolle Causam)
A naturopathic physician is trained to discover and confront the underlying cause(s) of disease instead of merely treating symptoms. Whenever possible the suppression of symptoms is avoided as suppression generally interferes with the healing process.
First Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere)
Naturopathic physicians utilize methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful effects, and apply the least possible force or intervention necessary to diagnose illness and restore health. As primary care physicians, naturopaths are trained to recognize the limits of their expertise and to refer patients to specialists when necessary.
Treat The Whole Person
Health or disease comes from a complex interaction of mental, emotional, spiritual, physical, dietary, genetic, environmental, lifestyle, and other factors. Naturopathic physicians treat the whole person, taking these factors into account.
Doctor as Teacher (Docere)
The original meaning of the word “doctor” is teacher. Naturopathic physicians recognize the therapeutic potential of the doctor-patient relationship and strive to educate the patient and emphasize self-responsibility for health.
Naturopathic physicians aim at preventing illness by focusing on the foundations of health (nutrition, stress management, lifestyle, and environment). With patients who already have a minor illness, this approach can also prevent the transition to more chronic degenerative disease.
Establishing and maintaining optimum health and balance. Wellness is a state of being healthy, characterized by positive emotion, thought, and action. Wellness is inherent in everyone no matter what disease(s) are being experienced. If wellness is really recognized and experienced by an individual, it will more quickly heal a given disease than direct treatment of the disease alone.