The Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine (N.D.) is a full-time graduate level program consisting of two years of science coursework followed by two years of clinical education and training. These programs are regionally accredited by the Department of Education and nationally by the CNME, an accrediting body for medical programs leading to an N.D. or N.M.D. degree. The curriculum hours are similar to M.D. and D.O. programs in most areas of study, however each clinical course (gynecology, cardiology, neurology, endocrinology, etc) covers conventional and natural diagnosis and treatment. Additionally, naturopathic students study botanical medicine, nutrition, physical medicine, counseling, hydrotherapy, acupuncture and homeopathy. N.D. students also take a national science board exam after the first two years of school and a clinical board exam following completion of the program. Passing board scores are required in order to acquire a state license to practice Naturopathic Medicine. The training received at these institutions is rooted in the naturopathic principles found below.
- First, do no harm; provide the most effective health care available with the least risk to patients at all times. (Primum non nocere)
- Recognize, respect and promote the self-healing power of nature inherent in each individual human being. (Vis medicatrix naturae)
- Identify and remove the causes of illness, rather than eliminate or suppress symptoms. (Tolle causum)
- Educate, inspire rational hope and encourage self-responsibility for health. (Docere)
- Treat each person by considering all individual health factors and influences. (Tolle totum)
- Emphasize the condition of health to promote well-being and to prevent diseases for the individual, each community and our world. (Health Promotion, the Best Prevention)
Naturopathic doctors are licensed primary care physicians or natural medicine specialists in 16 states* at this time. A typical visit to a naturopathic physician in these states includes a complete history, physical exams, and diagnostic tests followed by individualized treatment plans and prescriptions. Because each patient is unique in their biochemical make-up, philosophy, lifestyle and goals, flexible approaches to health are important for success. Naturopathic medicine excels in this area with not only a holistic view of the patient but with an extensive repertoire of treatment modalities that resonate differently with each person. These doctors may have additional training and board certification in sub-specialties including obstetrics, oncology, homeopathy, nutrition, functional medicine, or practice additional systems such as Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, or chiropractic. N.D.s work in a variety of clinical settings and institutions: private practice, integrative medical centers, hospitals, teaching at universities, formulating natural products, conducting research, and forming policy for government or the private sector.
The Mind-body connection is deeply integrated in Naturopathic medicine. A mind/body consultation explores areas where mind and body are not fully integrated and how this dynamic may be impacting your mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical health.
Some clients prefer using an in-depth series of questions when they speak about their physical signs and symptoms, thoughts, emotions, and relationships to unravel these connections; while others prefer to follow their stream of consciousness without much prompting or to focus on their body sensations. Most often, all of these approaches are weaved together in response to how you are feeling at the moment, the weather, the flora and fauna we may encounter, and the greater context of the world.
This approach is deeply integrated with nature. Nature can help to bring to light and heal what needs to be healed. Dr. Kirwin joins nature in creating the space and the safe container for exploring these mind/body connections. In this environment the answers may readily come from within, if they are being honestly sought after.
For More Information:
American Association of Naturopathic Physicians: http://www.naturopathic.org/
New York Association of Naturopathic Physicians: http://nyanp.org/
Counsel on Naturopathic Medical Education: http://www.cnme.org/
Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges: http://www.aanmc.org/
North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners: http://www.nabne.org/
University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine: http://www.bridgeport.edu/academics/graduate/naturo
Natural Doctors International: http://www.ndimed.org/
The Run: http://www.therun.org/
Cancer Treatment Centers of America: http://www.cancercenter.com/
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine: http://nccam.nih.gov/
Ohio Chapter of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians: http://www.ocaanp.org/
Connecticut Naturopathic Physicians Association: http://www.cnpaonline.org/