Naturopathic Education

Naturopathic medical colleges are four-year, graduate-level medical schools with admissions requirements comparable to those of other medical schools. The Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine degree, ND, is awarded after classroom, clinical and practical study. NDs are trained in a wide range of medical sciences including: anatomy, cardiology, neurology, physiology, biochemistry, radiology, pathology, obstetrics, minor surgery, microbiology, gynecology, pharmacology, pediatrics, immunology, dermatology, lab diagnostics, clinical and physical diagnosis.

Throughout the four years, there is training in naturopathic therapeutics including therapeutic nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, emergency medicine, acupuncture, naturopathic manipulative therapy, and other therapies.

The accrediting agency for naturopathic medical schools and programs in North America is the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education, CNME. Dr. Nicole Schertell attended the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences, a CNME accredited school in Tempe, AZ.  Dr. Andrew Chevalier attended the National College of Natural Medicine, a CNME accredited school in Portland, OR.

Licensing and Regulation

Dr. Schertell and Dr. Chevalier are licensed in the state of New Hampshire to practice naturopathic medicine.  In licensed states, naturopathic doctors are required to graduate from a four-year naturopathic medical school and pass an extensive postdoctoral board examination (NPLEX) in order to receive a license. Licensed naturopathic physicians must also fulfill state-mandated continuing education requirements annually. In addition, they have a specific scope of practice defined by their state’s law.   Please visit www.naturopathic.orgto visit the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians website for more information.

A Word of Clarification on the ND Qualification and Credentials

Unfortunately there is some confusion between licensable naturopathic physicians, with a four-year, graduate-level education, and traditional naturopaths, who have only correspondence or online training. Traditional naturopaths are health consultants, not healthcare practitioners.

If you wish to receive healthcare from a practitioner who is trained and licensed to diagnose and treat disease, you are looking for a naturopathic physician, such as Dr. Schertell and Dr. Chevalier. In a state with licensing laws, it is important to ask if the ND is licensed as a naturopathic physician. In other states, you could ask if your practitioner took the NPLEX board exam or attended one of the four-year accredited naturopathic colleges named above.

Please note that many traditional naturopaths are truly gifted healers. It is important, however, to understand that a traditional naturopath is limited in training and scope of practice. We merely feel that those seeking health care should be able to make an informed distinction between those professionals with similar sounding names, but very different credentials.