How do you feel about the licensing of Naturopathic physicians?

Question by Optimist: How do you feel about the licensing of Naturopathic physicians?
Currently, 16 states, the District of Columbia, and the United States territories of Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands have licensing laws for Naturopathic doctors. There are 4 accredited colleges of Naturopathic medicine in the U.S. How do you feel about Naturopaths being licensed to diagnose and treat disease?

Best answer:

Answer by SmartAss
Well, a license is something, while it’s also nothing.

I got my best massage in Kuala Lumpur from a non-licensed man, without any diploms. He understood the body, as well his as others.
At the other hand I have had therapy from people with a university diplom which had a lot of mental knowledge and no understanding.

Statistically you will maybe have more chance to have a good treatment by a licensed practitioner.
But that’s just statistics…

How high you value statistics is your business…

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!


  1. Better than I “feel” about the licensing of family MD’s — “More Drugs”.
    Naturopathy is geared towards curing health problems, not just suppressing symptoms with chemicals.
    The first new Homeopathic Medical College just opened in Arizona. What great news for people who don’t want to mess themselves up further with toxic substances.

  2. Licensing affords them a level of credibility with the public that they don’t warrant.

    Just to be clear that ‘accredited colleges’ are “not based upon the scientific validity of what is taught but on such factors as record-keeping, physical assets, financial status, makeup of the governing body, catalog characteristics, nondiscrimination policy, and self-evaluation system.”

    Most others places in the world don’t tolerate such silliness and thankfully (unless you live there) this lunacy appears to be restricted to North America and quackery-hotspot India.

    Edit: Thanks for the link Dr T. It was interesting reading. The ‘Basic Science’ part of an ND’s education appears similar to most 1st year university courses. However, in subsequent years (termed ‘Clinical Sciences’) they teach:

    “Courses—botanical medicine, homeopathy, emergency and legend drugs, nutrition, physical
    medicine (includes naturopathic, osseous and soft tissue manipulative therapy, physiotherapy, sports medicine, therapeutic exercise and hydrotherapy), psychological counseling, nature cure, acupuncture and Oriental medicine, medical procedures/emergencies, and minor surgery.”

    Whoa! Hold on a minute! A vast quantity of utter quackery is hidden away there! So when Wiki says that the accreditation is “not based upon the scientific validity of what is taught..” then they’re very much correct. In fact, it’s almost exclusively based on the quality of teaching of ‘Naturopathic Medicine’. Given that there’s basically no real definition for what NM actually IS, it looks like faculty can just make it up as they go along and still get accreditation.

    If anyone was in doubt, I think this goes even further to illustrate just how tenuous a grasp ND’s have on medical knowledge and how it’s incredible that a country can give them any level of recognition.

    Edit2: “You know I’m a total science geek”

    LMAO! That is the very LAST thing you are!

  3. Naturopath is a much safer way to treat illness and disease, why wouldn’t they be licensed? Besides, the medical community pushes through so many people who really don’t have a clue what they’re doing, so a license means absolutely nothing. I have found very few MDs who are actually competent.

  4. As evidenced by some of the answers here, loads of people still don’t have a clue what a licensed ND does or what our training includes.

    And unfortunately, in unlicensed areas a number of un-trained people are representing themselves as “naturopaths” and confusing the issue.

    Licensing is the best way to ensure that your ND is properly qualified, practicing science based medicine. The good news is that our profession requires that we maintain registration with our own governing body, even in unlicensed states/provinces. So you can be confident your ND is properly trained (and has passed all of the requisite competency exams and on-going training) if he or she is registered with the Canadian Association of NDs (Canada) or the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (US.)
    Dave – you’re mistaken about what CNME evaluates for accreditation (and the Wiki article you linked to doesn’t address the full accreditation criteria, it simply refers to an incident more than 25 years ago where Southwest College had some financial difficulties. The CNME foresaw the problem and made recommendations for change that were not enforced.)

    Just like every other legitimate educational institution, the CNME accredited schools are evaluated for financial and administrative critera. But the full set of critera extend far beyond financial and administrative record keeping. Here’s a link to the CNME page, on which you’ll find a full break-down of the criteria.
    Dave/Minder – I understand that I can’t fill a cup that’s already full. *soft laugh*

    Not that you’re actually interested, you may have also noted that ND training also includes:
    – anatomy (incl. cadaver lab), physiology, microbiology, pathology, histology, radiology, venipuncture, pharmacology (more hours than MD med school, actually), differential diagnosis, lab dx, physical clinical diagnosis, minor surgery, etc.
    – NDs have residents doing rounds with MD residents at major teaching hospitals.
    – many NDs have privileges in major hospitals throughout North America.
    – we have NDs that focus on pediatrics, endocrinology, oncology, etc.

    And Gary (whoops! outed yourself there as Minder hey?) – – that you’re able to find a licensed ND who offers in his clinic a series of interventions that are not covered in ND training is completely meaningless. I just read the website of an MD in Boulder, CO who offers aromatherapy and homeopathy and recommends against vaccination. She’s a pediatrician. By your logic, this specific pediatrician who has strayed from the basic foundation of her training makes all MDs quacks. …and btw – I cite science to you all the time! You know I’m a total science geek. :P Just responded to your request for sources on silver for conjunctivitis.

  5. probably a bad thing overall. on the one hand, you have some standard minimum of education, on the other, when the institutions that teach it are corrupted by the medically influenced accrediting boards whose dictates they must conform with, as has happened to chiropractic, it becomes an effective means of destroying an inherently legitimate and beneficial profession.

  6. Naturopaths being licensed to diagnose and treat disease? Ridiculous.

    I just googled a random LICENSED naturopathic clinic in the US and here’s a sample of what they are offering:

    Colon Cleansing
    Sound Therapy

    Not one of these treatments has any basis in science, none of them has ever been substantiated to work, none of them even have any plausibility. In fact it’s not difficult to assume they are all fraudulent.

    What’s the point in licensing this flim-flam? If they were properly licensed on the foundation of evidence based medicine, none of them would get licensed. They can self regulate all they want, it doesn’t validate them or what they pretend to do. Being properly trained in this stuff is moot.

    @Dr T – science based medicine? Are you kidding? I doubt you even understand what the term means.

    EDIT: @Dr T, the question is about Naturopathy, not MDs. Please stay on topic. Having said that, any MD who offers naturopathic nonsense like aromatherapy and homeopathy – and is anti-vaccination – IS A QUACK.

    You call yourself a science geek yet you support pseudoscience like homeopathy? What exactly do you think science based medicine actually is? Please define.

    ‘Minder’ is my email address – it’s no big deal. Sometimes it shows up as my user name for some reason.

  7. Naturopathic doctors have to go through a lot of schooling to get to become ND’s. They deserve a license. natural therapies work and are a lot more safer then conventional ones. you can also cure/reduce symptoms of various serious diseases that conventional medicine can’t do anything about. such as cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, AIDS, etc… they can all be treated by natural methods and you can have great results.
    it’s amazing how much you can improve your health by just changing your diet, a lot of naturopathic doctors use that method along with others to help heal/treat their clients.

  8. I feel GREAT about it because that’s the career field I want to pursue. I’m looking now for which school to attend. I was with Clayton College of Natural Health but they’re not current anymore.