Naturopathic Medicine is a system of medicine that focuses on treating the whole person with individualized care, using the least intervention necessary. A patient coming in with three or four (or more) health concerns, often finds they are actually dealing with only one or two underlying imbalances that have created a cascade of symptoms in different areas of the body. A naturopathic physician is both detective and teacher; identifying the true causative agents underlying each individualís disease processes, and educating patients on the natural therapies and lifestyle modifications that can be used to correct the imbalance(s) and restore health.


Naturopathic Medicine is a four or five year graduate level program. Naturopathic medical students are trained in the basic sciences (anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, immunology...) and in the clinical sciences, where they study the different diseases (pathology) and the imbalances that often underlie those diseases.

Naturopathic medical students learn a variety of treatment modalities including herbal medicine, homeopathy, counseling, nutritional supplementation, dietary modification, lifestyle awareness, craniosacral therapy, hydrotherapy and more. NDís are also given training in Chinese medical philosophy, naturopathic manipulation, pharmacology and minor surgery. This diverse training allows naturopathic physicians to work well with medical doctors as well as with acupuncturists, chiropractors and other health care practitioners; and this coordination provides patients with a strong and multifaceted approach to their healthcare.

Naturopathic medical students are trained in all of the physical exams (heart/lungs, eyes/ears/nose/throat, gynecological exams [paps], prostate exams, etc.) as well as a wide variety of standard and non-standard diagnostic tests. In addition to the classroom learning, naturopathic medical students must also complete clinical training by interning in teaching clinics under the supervision of licensed naturopathic physicians; and to become licensed physicians themselves, graduates must pass stringent state board exams.

To find out more about how naturopathic physicians are trained, go to the website for Bastyr University or the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.

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Dr. Natanson