Naturopathic Doctors

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Naturopathic Doctor Distinctions

Naturopathic Doctors, or NDs, do not seek to replace the role of the Primary Care Physician. In fact, they choose to work alongside, in conjunction with, independent of as primary HEALTH providers. Naturopathic Doctors are Integrative Medical Providers. It is observed and understood that allopaths serve a role in the diagnosis, management, and treatment of disease yet have little if any education or training in the treatment of health. Naturopathic Doctors are trained in health. That is their role to maintain and educate the person on health. Naturopathic Medical Doctors, or NMDs, seek to replace the role of the primary care physician and believe they are qualified to diagnose, manage, and treat both diseases as well as maintain the health of the person. Naturopathic Doctors believe in working integratively with the allopaths when there is a disease present. They do not believe they are adequately trained to manage or diagnose disease, as we lack sufficient pathology as well as clinical residency.

There are three distinct professions:

Naturopathic Doctors are NDs. These are Doctors that are trained based on Dr Lusts standardization of Naturopathy. They complete a 4 year doctoral program, and take a Board Exam. The Diploma of these students read, Naturopathic Doctor (see attached).

Naturopathic Medical Doctors are NMDs. These are Naturopathic Medical Doctors who also receive some allopathic training in their education. Their diplomas clearly state Naturopathic Medical Doctor (see attached). They are not NDs or Naturopathic Doctors.

Traditional Naturopaths are TNs. These are Naturopaths who have completed a certificate program in the basic principles of Naturopathy. They do not qualify to take a Board Examination and are not considered to be Doctors.

Doctor of Natural Medicine which is also indicated in this bill, refers to the use of alternative medicine modalities in practice less the emphasis on the biosciences. Natural Medicine is the use of naturally occurring remedies ie herbs, homeopaths, meditation, etc for treatment but does not go in depth into the laboratory component of the practice. They are less inclined to run labs, work with allopaths, and monitor treatment. They tend to be stand alone providers. These providers are considered DNM or Doctor of Natural Medicine designations. They typically complete a 3 year didactic training program with or without clinical requirements.

The Definitions in the bill as they pertain to the 4 classes of practices is not thoroughly stated or clear. We oppose these definitions as written for the following reasons.

(a).Naturopathy is NOT Naturopathic Medicine. Congressional record 1931 DC, was exhaustive in formally defining and codifying Naturopathy. Congress found that Naturopathy was not Allopathic or “Medicine”. Naturopathy was not the use of drugs or surgery and that no law shall be made in respective states to disenfranchise Naturopaths discriminate as to what school they went to. (See Attached Congressional Record)

(b). No congressional record of the definition of Naturopathic Medicine has even been produced by the Doctors of Naturopathic Medicine.

© Naturopathic Medicine is separate and distinct from Naturopathy as cited in HB 1040 bill in 54.1-2900, yet it creates a “Board of Naturopathy” to license AND REGULATE “Doctors of Naturopathic Medicine” and “Naturopathic Medicine”. The confusing amalgamation of the two separate fields is apparent and confusing to both legislators and the public.

(d). Though the bill makes mention of “Naturopathy” and “Doctors of Natural Medicine” the bill does not define what “Naturopathy” nor “Natural Medicine” is, though it does take the title and position it under the control of the board and make it illegal for anyone other than a select few the board deems “worthy” to be granted these titles. The bill only makes reference to the definition of Naturopathic Medicine! (Note this is not the definition given by congress!)

The bill mentions 4 different types of practitioners: Doctors of Natural Medicine (DNM), Doctors of Naturopathy (ND) and Doctors of Naturopathic Medicine (NMD), Traditional Naturopath (TN). We oppose these 4 groups being loosely traded for the following reasons.

(a). The bill would take the titles of “Doctor of Naturopathy”, “Doctor of Natural Medicine” and “ND”, “DNM” from duly studied and tested doctors who do not practice Naturopathy or Naturopathic Medicine but “Natural Medicine” and give it to a board of Naturopathy that regulates Naturopathic Medicine. (Note a board of naturopathy is regulating naturopathic medicine).

(b). Though the bill was amended and the provisions prohibiting those who had been licensed in Virginia prior to the sunsetting and de-licensing of Doctors of Naturopathy in the state in 1980 the board was clearly stated in the law as a “board of naturopathy” NOT NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE.

(c) Naturopathic Medicine is mentioned in the Bill as being different from Naturopathy (Which we agree with) in 54.1-2900.

(d). It also Takes the title “Doctor of Natural Medicine” yet does not define what “Natural Medicine” is or why it is reaching to control anyone who uses a derivative of the term ”Natural” and the word “Doctor”!

(e).Therefore, a clear distinction should be made between the 3 sets of Doctors this bill is aiming to regulate.

(d). It is not clear what title the license and board will be given to which practitioners or why the titles of all 4 sets are going to be given to one board that controls them all.

(e). No representatives of the 3 sets of Doctors are mentioned in the making of the board such as a chairperson from each set of doctored groups.

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