Question by PaulD: Can you have a naturopath as a substitute for a GP?
For people who pursue natural health is your naturopath/someone else basically filling the position of a standard GP? Do you still need a GP even though you want natural health?
Answer by SkepDoc 3.0
Well, the naturopaths would like you to think so. They are trying to rebrand themselves as “primary care physicians” It’s not that some of what they advocate isn’t sensible…proper diet, rest, exercise etc. However, they make the claim that they are the only ones who advocate that…bollocks. It’s that the rest of what they embrace…homeopathy, acupuncture, detoxes and cleanses, chelation, food allergies, chronic yeast infection etc are firmly in the land of woo woo nonsense.
Some of them are better educated than others, but generally speaking the training most naturopaths receive is not comparable to the training physicians go through in terms of theory and treatment of disease, pharmacology, anatomy, physiology etc etc etc. They also don’t do clinical rotations like a medical residency where academic knowledge is put into practice under the supervision of a more experienced physician.
If you are a healthy person with no medical problems, then seeing someone who tells you to eat right and exercise will do you no harm. If you actually have an illness, then naturopaths do not have the training to recognize, investigate or treat it with science and evidence based modalities. You will still need to see a doctor.
I find naturapaths generally to be nice people with good intentions, but they are firmly immersed in woo woo Alt Med culture and are not primary care physicians.
EDIT dr T. I have found your answers to be reasonable, and you seemingly aren’t in the woo woo camp. That is not true of all the naturopaths I cross paths with.
Yes there are some MD’s who embrace the woo as well…Andrew Weil being the most notable quack. I have medical colleagues who practice EFT, acupuncture and Healing Touch. You may be sure that they are not spared my skeptical point of view. I would dispute that results are better with woo hoo. If that is really your experience, then I would put it to you that there was nothing wrong with the patient if the placebo cured them.
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