As naturopathic medicine grows across the U.S., so are the number of health systems, hospitals and cancer treatment centers having licensed naturopathic doctors as members of their clinical teams.
That’s the word this year from the Institute for Natural Medicine (IMN), a partner of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (INM). At least 28 of these healthcare facilities have one or more licensed naturopathic doctors on staff, they said in a statement. There are about 6,000 licensed naturopathic doctors practicing in the U.S. At least 23 states and territories currently license naturopathic doctors.
The new healthcare options come as more Americans “are seeking complementary and natural health care providers as they focus on wellness, prevention an whole-person care,” says IMN.
Growing Consumer Demand
“Naturopathic doctors are meeting the growing consumer demand for whole-body health care providers, and they are delivering better health outcomes at lower costs,” said Michelle Simon, PhD, ND and Chair of the INM Board of Directors said in a statement. “In addition to their ability to fill the growing shortage of primary care providers, NDs are sought out for complementary specialty care in oncology, gastroenterology, endocrinology, cardiology and other core fields.
While naturopathic doctors are trained to diagnose, prevent and treat acute and chronic illness, they are also skilled at treating the “whole person.” That comes about as they complete a science-based four-year post-graduate education at an accredited naturopathic medical college, which are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. “Working as both primary care providers and members of collaborative integrative healthcare teams, naturopathic doctors address underlying causes of illness,” the IMN says.
Hospital Naturopathic Programs
Each hospital and health system has developed different programs.
At Alliance Institute for Integrative Medicine in Cincinnati, Alliance Institute for Integrative Medicine, its naturopathic physician has been trained extensively in clinical nutrition, traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture, herbal medicine, homeopathy, physical medicine and other physiotherapies. Since Ohio does not yet license naturopathic doctors as physicians, its staff naturopathic doctor works under the direction of AIM physicians to help patients understand the treatment recommendations.
Hallie Armstrong, ND, the lead naturopathic doctor at Integrative Medicine Beaumont at Beaumont Health in Royal Oak, Michigan says in a statement “it is vital to treat the whole person and is dedicated to providing patients with a team-based approach to wellness.”
Dr. Armstrong serves as co-facilitator of the Faculty Scholars Program in Innovative Healthcare, an educational program that trains traditional allopathic physicians and allied health care employees in the methods and concepts of Integrative Health.
The Beaumont program includes naturopathic physicians trained in counseling, nutritional balancing, stress management and goal setting. It also addresses environmental and lifestyle factors that impact patients’ health. The hospital offers pharmaceutical grade supplements to the public.
UC Irving School of Medicine’s, Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute, includes a focus on “maintaining wellness and promoting health and the treatment of illness, it offers clinical services in acupuncture, naturopathy, Chinese herbal medicine, nutritional supplements and a therapeutic lifestyle program and education.
It includes acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine, and naturopathy and first line therapy, underlying causes of patients’ illnesses by reviewing their diet, stress, energy, digestion, exercise, lifestyle, past and present medical history and family history.
At Cancer Treatment Centers of America, its naturopathic oncology providers evaluate radiation therapy, chemotherapy and other cancer treatments, and also have expertise in the effects of natural therapies.”
Naturopathic doctors are trained to treat the whole person as they work to diagnose prevent and treat acute and chronic illness.
Naturopathic doctors complete a science-based four-year post-graduate education in an accredited naturopathic medical college recognized by the United States Department of Education. Working as both primary care providers and members of collaborative integrative healthcare teams, naturopathic doctors work to address underlying causes of illness.