Licensure of Naturopathic Doctors
Licensed naturopathic doctors must fulfill state-mandated education requirements annually, and will have a specific scope of practice defined by their state laws. Licensed naturopathic physicians also have to fulfill state-mandated continuing education requirements annually, with a specific scope of practice defined by state law.
The states that currently have licensing laws for naturopathic doctors are:
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- US Territories of Puerto Rico & the Virgin Islands
In these locations, NDs are required to graduate from a four-year residential naturopathic medical school and pass five days of extensive post-doctoral board exams, including five basic science board exams and 10 clinical science board exams in order to receive a license. NDs are also subject to review by a State Board of Examiners.
The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) supports legislation to license NDs in all states in order to distinguish properly trained physicians from lesser trained individuals. AANP membership is limited to individuals who are eligible for licensing in states that issue licenses, have graduated from a recognized school, and have completed board exams.
States without Licensing
In states that do not offer licensing, some people use the title "N.D." or "Naturopath" without training from accredited schools or any recognized license. These individuals may have taken brief correspondence courses, short seminars, or attended schools that give credit for life experience, but which do not require clinical training. Such degrees are not recognized by the CNME.
In many of the unlicensed states, naturopathic doctors and their supporters have introduced bills and are actively working toward achieving licensure. Some naturopathic doctors in these states hold a license from another state to demonstrate to the public that they have attained the high level of training required of the profession elsewhere. Licensure provides a means for oversight and a standard by which consumers can evaluate the credentials of a practitioner. That is why the naturopathic profession fully supports licensing.