Office Hours
M, Tu, Th, F
10 am - 5 pm

10% OFF
all office visits
for all
Blue Cross of Massachusetts members

442 Marrett Road (Rte 2A) Lexington MA, 02421
phone:
(781) 274-6190 e-mail: contact@lexingtonnaturalhealth.com

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


What is Naturopathic Medicine?

Naturopathic Medicine is another title for what you may call Alternative or Complementary Medicine.  It is a profession of health care which emphasizes prevention, treatment and the promotion of optimal health through the use of therapeutic methods and modalities which address the whole person and the body’s inherent healing abilities.  The principles of Naturopathic Medicine focus on identifying and treating the cause of an illness, rather than eliminating or suppressing symptoms.  Therapeutic modalities which cause harmful side effects are avoided and the least force necessary is used to diagnose and treat an illness. 

What is a Naturopathic Doctor (ND)?

A Naturopathic doctor is a doctor who is an expert in complementary medicines such as herbal medicine, nutritional science, naturopathic physical medicine, environmental medicine and homeopathy.

How does a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) differ from a Medical Doctor (MD)?
Naturopathic doctors are experts in complementary medicines and medical doctors are experts in drug therapy and surgery.  Both attend a 4-year medical school after completing a bachelors degree and premed requirements.  Naturopathic medical schools, however, focus a great deal more on nutrition, herbal medicine, physical medicine and homeopathy than conventional medical schools. In fact, most conventional medical schools offer no more than one or two introductory classes in alternative medicines.  The methods which a naturopath uses is different from a medical doctor.  Therefore, there is a professional need for naturopaths. Both however, can work very well in a collaborative practice because both are trained in western medicine and both use scientific research to support their clinical practices.

Medical Doctor

Naturopathic Doctor

Bachelors Degree?

YES

YES

Completion of Premed requirements (ie. chemistry, biology, physics, psychology)

YES

YES

Attend a 4 yr medical school

YES

YES

# of Hours Studying Basic & Clinical Sciences while in school

≈1524

≈1535

# of Hours studying Conventional Therapeutics

≈3393

≈2029

# of Hours studying Alternative Medicines

≈0

≈842

Take a professional board exam after graduation

YES

YES


Is there scientific evidence to support (which proves that naturopathic medicines work) the use of naturopathic medicines?  If so, how come my medical doctor doesn’t know about these studies?

There is a lot of scientific evidence to support the use of herbal medicine as well as nutritional medicine and homeopathy.  The National Library of Medicine, in fact, has a medical research database called PubMed which, as of December 2003, contains over 700 and 3500 positive, peer-review, double blind placebo-controlled studies on herbal medicines and nutritional supplements, respectively.  A large review article in the prestigious journal Lancet in 1997 even concluded that effects of homeopathy were not completely due to a placebo effect after researchers analyzed 89 randomized placebo-controlled clinical trials.   Results of these studies are taught throughout the 4 years of naturopathic medical schools and are integrated into the curriculum.

Most medical doctors are not familiar with the research on naturopathic medicine because they receive very little training about it in medical school.  After they graduate, they are often too busy to go the library and look up the research.  Most of their new knowledge comes from drug reps and a few journals to which they may subscribe.  

Do all ND's have the same training? How does the training of naturopathic doctors from accredited 4-year naturopathic medical schools differ from that of correspondence schools?

No. In states like Massachusetts where there is no licensing law, an ND may have a 4 year graduate-level education or they may have a mail order degree. Before you see an ND in Massachusetts you should completely research their background. They should have a bachelor's degree with premedical requirements like biology, chemistry and physics. They should have also attended one of these five 4-yr naturopathic medical schools: Bastyr University, National College of Naturopathic Medicine, Southwest College, University of Bridgeport or the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. These are the only schools that offer an in-depth training in both naturopathic and conventional medicine. The following table shows that naturopathic doctors from 4-year accredited naturopathic medical schools receive far more training in Western medicine and complementary medicine than naturopaths from correspondence programs.

Curriculum at one of the four, 4-year accredited Naturopathic medical schoo
ls

Fall Courses

Credits

Winter Courses

Credits

Spring & Summer Courses

Credits

Year 1

 

 

 

 

 

Biochemistry 1
Human Physiology 1 Lec/Lab
Histology
Human Anatomy 1 Lec/Lab
Naturopathic Clinical Theory 1
Clinic Entry 1

4
5.5
5
5.5
2
1

Biochemistry 2
Human Physiology 2 Lec/Lab
Embryology
Human Anatomy 2 Lec/Lab
Research Methods & Design
The Determinants of Health
Principles of Chinese Medicine
Massage
Hydrotherapy/Physiotherapy Lecture

4
5.5
3
5.5
2
1.5
3
1.5
2

Fundamentals of Ayurvedic Med
Biochemistry 3
Human Physiology 3
Gross Human Anatomy 3 Lec/Lab
Neuroscience
Botanical Medicine 1
The Vis Medicatrix Naturae
Hydrotherapy/Physiotherapy Lab
Physician Heal Thyself

2
4
3
5.5
5.5
2
1.5
1
2

Year 2

 

 

 

 

 

Human Pathology 1
Immunology
Botanical Medicine 2
Homeopathy 1
Clinical Lab Diagnosis 1
Physical/Clinical Dx 1 Lec
Physical/Clinical Dx 1 Lab
Naturopathic Counseling 1
Foods, Dietary Systems & Assessment

4
4
2
2
3.5
2
2
3
3

Human Pathology 2
Infectious Diseases
Botanical Medicine 3
Homeopathy 2
Clinical Lab Diagnosis 2
Physical/Clinical Diagnosis 2 Lecture
Physical/Clinical Diagnosis 2 Lab
Naturopathic Counseling 2
Macro & Micronutrients

4
6.5
2
3
3.5
2
2
3
3

Human Pathology 3
Pharmacology
Homeopathy 3
Clinical Lab Diagnosis 3
Physical/Clinical Diagnosis 3 Lecture
Physical/Clinical Diagnosis 3 Lab
Clinic Entry 2
Preceptorship 1
Naturopathic Manipulation 1

4
5
3
3.5
2
2
1
1
2

Year 3

 

 

 

 

 

Botanical Medicine 4
Normal Maternity
Environmental Medicine
Public Health
Gastroenterology
EENT
Naturopathic Manipulation 2
Orthopedics
Psychological Assessment
Diet & Nutrient Therapy 1
1-2 Clinic Shifts

2
3
1.5
1.5
2
2
3
2
2
3
2-4

Botanical Medicine 5
Naturopathic Clinical Theory 2
Dermatology
Oncology
Gynecology
Pediatrics 1
Naturopathic Manipulation 3
Sports Medicine/Therapeutic Exercise
Addictions & Disorders
Diet & Nutrient Therapy 2
1-2 Clinic Shifts

2
1
2
2
3
2
3
2
2
3
2-4

Botanical Medicine Dispensary Lab
Practice Management 1
Clinical Ecology
Neurology
Pediatrics 2
Family Medicine
The Healing Systems
Naturopathic Manipulation 4
Naturopathic Counseling 3
1-2 Clinic Shifts
Naturopathic Case Analysis & Mgmt 1
Cardiology
Minor Surgery
Medical Procedures
1-2 Clinic Shifts

1
2
2
2
2
2
1
3
2
2-4
1.5
3
3
3
2-4

Year 4

 

 

 

 

 

Geriatrics
Urology
Naturopathic Case Analysis & Management 2
Adv. Naturopathic Ther. 1
3-4 Clinic Shifts

2
1.5
1
2
6-8

Ethics
Diagnostic Imaging
Rheumatology
Adv. Naturopathic Therapeutics 2
Preceptorship 2
3-4 Clinic Shifts

1
2
1.5
2
1
6-8

Jurisprudence
Practice Management 2
Radiographic Interpretation 2
Pulmonary Medicine
Preceptorship 3
3-4 Clinic Shifts
Radiographic Interpretation 1 Lecture
Radiographic Interpretation 1 Lab
Endocrinology
3-4 Clinic Shifts

1
2
3
1.5
1
6-8
3
1
3
6-8


Curriculum at one of the naturopathic correspondence schools

History of Naturopathy
Foundations of Naturopathy
Nutrition & Disease
Detoxification & Healing
Iridology

Body Awareness & Physical Movement
Alternative Approaches to Arthritis
Manual Therapies: Massage, Reflexology & Acupressure
Building
& Maintaining a Consulting Practice

The Client-Practitioner Relationship
3 Electices
Consulting Practicum
Essentials of Nutrition 1
Essentials of Nutrition 2
Intro to Herbology

Intro to Homeopathy
Classical Homeopathy
Herbology 2
Holistic Human Development
Holistic Human Development


Is naturopathic medicines safe?

Naturopathic medicines are very safe if used under the proper supervision of a licensed naturopathic doctor who is well trained in both traditional applications and scientific literature.  Many adverse effects from dietary supplements occur in people who are treating themselves or in people seeing unqualified healthcare practitioners.  Adverse effects often occur in people, for example, who are taking more than the recommended amount or who are on a drug or have a condition which negatively interacts with a dietary supplement.  A naturopathic doctor from a 4-year accredited naturopathic medical school has had extensive training in prescribing dietary supplements and knows how to properly monitor a patient for any adverse effects.



Copyright © 2015 Lexington Natural Health Center | Webmaster Paul Belanger