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Naturopathic Medicine

What Is Naturopathic Medicine?

Naturopathic medicine and naturopathy refers to a system of medicine focused on preventative health care. Founded on the most time-tested medical principle, vis medicatrix naturae (the healing power of nature), the goal of naturopathy is to restore the functioning of body, mind, and spirit through treatments that enhance the body's innate healing abilities.

Understanding Naturopathic Medicine

In naturopathic medicine, the body, mind, and spirit are viewed as an integral whole, and symptoms of "dis-ease" are seen as indicators of improper functioning or unfavorable lifestyle habits. The primary goal of Dr. Kim Furtado, N.D. is to address the underlying cause of illness and avoid treating only symptoms.

Naturopathic doctors are clinically trained in a wide variety of therapeutics that can be adapted to each individual patient. Combining the wisdom of centuries of natural, non-toxic therapies with current advances in health and medicine, experts like Dr. Kim Furtado, N.D. are able to provide:

  • Diet & Clinical Nutritional Therapy
  • Homeopathy
  • Botanical Medicine
  • Physical Medicine
  • Counseling & Stress Management
  • Public Health Measures & Hygiene

Naturopathic medicine seeks to offer preventative and whole patient care with the least risk of harm. Naturopathic doctors also cooperate with all other branches of medical science, referring patients to other practitioners for treatment or diagnosis when appropriate. This means naturopathic patients continue to visit their primary care and specialist physicians while integrating naturopathic care. Dr. Kim Furtado, N.D. will not replace your primary care physician.

Variety of Nutrional Supplements

A Licensed Naturopathic Doctor

Dr. Furtado holds a license from the District of Columbia, and is a member of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. This provides accountability for you of her training and continuing education. At this time, there is no naturopathic licensing available in Delaware for naturopathic doctors.

Education of Naturopathic Doctors

A licensed naturopathic doctor attends a four-year graduate-level naturopathic medical school. These doctors are educated in the same basic and clinical sciences common to all medical education, but also study holistic and nontoxic approaches to therapy with a strong emphasis on disease prevention and optimizing wellness. Throughout the four to five years of education, there is also training in naturopathic therapeutics, including:

  • Botanical Medicine
  • Therapeutic Nutrition
  • Counseling
  • Homeopathy
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Physical Medicine
  • Other Therapies

Naturopathic medical schools have admissions requirements and coursework that are also comparable to conventional medical schools. The basic sciences component of naturopathic medical education includes:

  • Anatomy
  • Biochemistry
  • Cardiology
  • Clinical & Physical Diagnosis
  • Dermatology
  • Gynecology
  • Immunology
  • Lab Diagnostics
  • Microbiology
  • Neurology
  • Oncology
  • Pathology
  • Pediatrics
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology
  • Radiology
Apple on Top of a Book

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:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • 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.