In North American States without naturopathic licensing board, anyone may call herself or himself a “naturopathic doctor,” or use the initials “N.D.” after his or her name, because the term is not legally defined or regulated by the state.
Before making an appointment with an N.D., ask where he or she went to school.
In North America, there are only 5 accredited naturopathic colleges. There is also one college in Canada and one in British Columbia. Physicians who have graduated from one of these schools have completed rigorous medical training, equivalent to that offered at conventional medical schools, with the addition of natural therapeutic modalities absent from most medical curricula.
Check with American Association of Naturopathic Physicians to find a trained naturopathic physician in an unlicensed state.
To check if any schools have been added you can visit the AANMC website to check for any updates.
In licensed states, naturopathic physicians must pass a national board exam before they are licensed. most naturopathic physician who have graduated from an accredited school pass national board exams and retain a license in a licensed state, even if they are practicing in a state that does not recognize naturopathic physicians.
Keep in mind that each licensed naturopathic physician is likely to empathize particular therapeutic approaches to his or her practice. Always ask what therapeutic methods a particular practitioner uses (e.g. nutrition, homeopathy, botanical medicine, physical medicine, hydrotherapy, etc.).
I know of one patient who went to a naturopathic physician for several months, always expecting that the physician who prescribe some sort of homeopathic remedy. Finally, this extremely patient patient asked the physician when he was going to prescribe a remedy. “Oh,” said the physician, arching his eyebrow in surprise, “I don’t work with homeopathic remedies. I suggest you contact Dr. So-n-so!”
General Guidelines of Choosing a Physician (Of Any Kind):
~ the physician listens well and encourages questions
~ the physician asked what you think is happening to your health
~ the physician takes time to explain things
~ the treatment plan includes lifestyle changes, not just pills
~ the physician outlines options and helps you make educated health-care choices
~ the physician educates patients during office visits and provides more information when its requested
~ the physician conducts physical exams
~ the physician orders appropriate lab tests in licensed states
~ the physician refers patients to other physicians for lab testing in unlicensed states