What is Naturopathic Medicine?

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THE VISION OF THE AzNMA is to empower you to achieve optimal health by connecting you with a licensed Naturopathic Physician who specializes in natural treatments in addition to conventional medicine.

Naturopathic medicine is a primary health care profession emphasizing:

  • prevention and treatment of disease
  • maintenance of optimal health
  • promotion of the individual's inherent self-healing process

Naturopathic medicine accomplishes health care using holistic diagnosis in conjunction with the following therapies:

  • clinical nutrition
  • botanical medicine
  • homeopathic medicine
  • physical medicine
  • lifestyle counseling
  • pharmaceutical medicine
  • minor surgery

How are naturopathic physicians trained?

All modern licensed naturopathic physicians have Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine degrees from federally recognized medical schools. Their education includes:

  • the same premedical undergraduate coursework required by other schools of medicine
  • a competitive application and admission process
  • graduation from a four-year, federally recognized, naturopathic medical school
  • two full years of supervised clinical internship
  • optional residency programs

Naturopathic medical students study the same basic and clinical sciences as do other medical students, and in addition, a full spectrum of natural medicines and therapies.

How do naturopathic physicians diagnose and treat people?

As primary care providers, naturopathic physicians use:

  • standard medical diagnostic techniques such as extensive health history, physical examination, blood tests, radiology, and other standard laboratory procedures.
  • holistic interpretation in order to find the underlying cause of the disease process.
  • natural medicines and therapies as the first line of treatment, and rational use of drugs and surgery

With advanced board certifications, some naturopathic physicians also practice as certified specialists.

Scope of Practice in Arizona

Naturopathic Physicians are licensed primary care providers who are specialists in holistic diagnosis and natural therapeutics. These physicians are trained to seek out the least invasive intervention required to effect a cure. Often, this is possible with diet counseling and lifestyle modification. Sometimes this requires the use of medication, physical therapeutics, or minor surgery. They are always looking for the underlying cause of the illness and do not just focus on the most apparent symptoms. Naturopathic physicians refer to specialists as needed, either within the profession or to allopathic (MD) or osteopathic (DO)colleagues.

Licensed Naturopathic Physicians receive extensive didactic and clinical training in the following modalities:

  • Clinical Nutrition
  • Dietary Supplementation
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Naturopathic Manipulative Medicine
  • Acupuncture
  • Botanical (Herbal) Medicines
  • Homeopathic Medicines
  • Pharmaceutical (Conventional) Medicines
  • Minor Surgery