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The suggestion that naturopathic physicians lack the training to prescribe medications suggests either arrogance or an alternative agenda.
The Wisconsin Naturopathic Physicians Association recently compared the competing curricula of Portland’s National College of Natural Medicine and Seattle’s Bastyr University with the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. The instruction and training hours of the naturopathic curriculum exceeded MCOW’s program in basic and clinical sciences, was comparable in clinical instruction in basic therapeutics, and provided added instruction in naturopathic therapeutics, nutrition, and patient counseling services not offered in the allopathic curriculum. Students of naturopathic medicine receive the same training in biology, chemistry, biochemistry, anatomy, physiology, and even pharmacology. In addition, they receive academic and clinical training in nutrition, exercise, healthy lifestyles, patient counseling and psychology, and have access to training in other ‘traditional’ medicines and treatments used in other cultures with success.
Naturopathic doctors (NDs) are no less ‘doctors’ than those who are trained in allopathic medical schools and receive a MD degree. NDs emphasize and receive intensive training in the benefits of diet and natural substances to help the body defend and heal itself, they understand and value the therapeutic benefits of synthetic drugs and are trained to use them when appropriate. That NDs use synthetics less frequently than MDs does not suggest a lack of training; indeed, the objective evidence is that the opposite conclusion is more accurate.
Oregon’s legislature has recognized qualified naturopathic doctors as valuable members of the medical community who should have access to all the tools they are trained to use to the benefit of their patients. What is emerging is a welcome new health care paradigm: that modern medicine is beginning to recognize that integrating the best of traditional with the best of the modern benefits the patient, lowers total cost, and improves the overall health of our population.
posted 3 years, 11 months ago
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