Q&A: Can you become both a naturopathic doctor and medical doctor?

Question by naidanacmai: Can you become both a naturopathic doctor and medical doctor?
Is it possible for someone to become both a medical doctor and naturopathic doctor? I want the skills and training to do both or at least have the option to do both. I know I could go to medical school for 4 years and then naturopathic school for another 4, but is there a combined program somewhere? Does anyone have information?

Best answer:

Answer by Stanley
Yes, but allopathic is more traditional. The Naturopathic is entirely different. Almost seems if two may conflict. You may wish to check out being a osteopathic physician. Much more holistic approach, and you are doing traditional medicine with holistic additions (manipulation, nutrition).

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  1. Of course; however, it will most likely not take you another 4 yrs of naturopathic study to be an ND when you are already an MD as you will have covered the basics (e.g., Anatomy, Pysio, etc.) as well as patient management.

    Because the practical concepts are different, there will not likely be a school that combines both and you will need to take naturopathy as a specialization.

    Consult the AANMC for more information about naturopathic schools (https://www.aanmc.org/) then decide whether you want to be an MD first or an ND first. Personally (given time and money), an MD before an ND will have fewer challenges than doing them in reverse (not to say that it will be difficult, just maybe more paradigm shifts).

    Here is a good site that cites the comparison – https://www.aanmc.org/education/comparing-nd-md-curricula.php

  2. Once you learn a little bit of real medicine, you’ll be embarrassed to admit that you even entertained the idea of studying naturopathy. It’s quackery, plain and simple.

    There ARE real doctors who incorporate herbal and alternative remedies into their practices, and you could do that. When you understand the difference between science and BS, you will be better able to actually use those therapies in a responsible fashion.

    I work with a gastroenterologist who sometimes uses natural therapies in his practice. He knows the limitations of such treatments, and also uses the full gamut of pharmaceutical options when those are appropriate.

  3. One widely held myth is that traditional allopathic medical schools do not emphasize the holistic approach. They do. I went to one. I was on the teaching faculty of another. And yes, I agree that the prospective financial rewards of specialization seduce many from this holistic approach. Still, don’t you think it better to attend a school – MD or DO – that is grounded in a scientific basis, and attached to legitimately accredited universities? When I searched naturopathic schools, there wasn’t one that I recognized as affiliated with a nationally credentialed university in spite of membership in prestigious sounding accrediting organizations. Just look at the U. of Bridgeport, for example, and all its controversies. If you want to become a medical doctor, go to medical (or osteopathic) school. If you want to practice holistic medicine, do it. But don’t engage in magical thinking.