What does it take to be a Naturopath?
Naturopathic applicants must possess internal qualities such as motivation, concern for others, integrity and a belief in the process and application of natural medicine.
There are Six Primary Principles Of Naturopathic Medicine, and they are adhered to by Naturopathic Doctors, similar to the Hippocratic Oath. They are:
1 - The Healing Power Of Nature: Trust in the body’s inherent wisdom to heal itself.
2 - Identify And Treat The Causes: Look beyond the symptoms to the underlying cause.
3 - First, Do No Harm: Utilize the most natural, least invasive and least toxic therapies.
4 - Doctor As Teacher: Educate patients in the steps to achieving and maintaining health.
5 - Treat the Whole Person: View the body as an integrated whole in all its physical and spiritual dimensions.
6 - Prevention: Focus on overall health, wellness and disease prevention.
If you are considering a career as a Naturopathic Doctor, it will take a long-term commitment both for school and post graduation. In addition to the same basic training in the sciences as Medical Doctors, naturopathic schools introduce courses in clinical nutrition, psychological counseling and natural and holistic approaches to heal the body. Naturopathic schools provide a curriculum that will prepare the Naturopathic Doctor to view patients as individuals, taking into consideration both physical symptoms as well as other things in their lives that may be affecting their health.
While a specific major isn’t required for admission, students need to have completed courses in English, Humanities, Math, Physics and Psychology. A strong emphasis on Biology and Chemistry is necessary. It would help prepare the student for naturopathic study if courses like Anatomy, Biochemistry, Botany, Physiology and Developmental Psychology are taken.
Most naturopathic medicine programs are four-year programs, but it is not unusual for students to take up to five years to complete their training. This would be in addition to their undergraduate degree.
Graduates of Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine programs must pass standardized licensing exams. They must also register with appropriate provincial or state licensing boards.
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