Online Doctorate Degree in Naturopathic Medicine
Learn about the requirements to earn a doctorate in naturopathic medicine. Find out what classes and programs are available, and get information about whether online programs qualify you for licensure. Schools offering Complementary & Alternative Health degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What Is a Doctorate Program in Naturopathic Medicine?
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine programs can train you to provide primary patient care through natural therapies and holistic healing techniques. These programs take four years to complete. Common admissions prerequisites include completion of a bachelor's program and undergraduate courses in physics, organic chemistry, psychology and humanities. Some schools prefer applicants who have prior health care experience.
Can I Earn This Degree Online?
Doctorate programs in naturopathic medicine are available online. However, as of 2012, online programs in this discipline don't fulfill the education prerequisite for the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examination (NPLEX), which is required for licensure.
In order to take the NPLEX, you must graduate from a program that's accredited by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME). These programs offer an on-campus curriculum with biomedical and clinical training. Specific requirements to practice medicine as a naturopathic doctor vary by state, but requirements often include passing the NPLEX or registering through the state board.
What Will I Learn?
Your CNME-approved curriculum will combine conventional science and medical disciplines with alternative treatment methods. You may receive training on a variety of subjects, such as anatomy, microbiology, histology, neurophysiology, biochemistry, oriental medicine, homeopathy, pathology, nutrition, hydrotherapy and medical genetics.
In addition to classroom instruction, participation in clinical internships is required. You would be trained to treat many medical conditions also treated by conventional primary care doctors and specialists. This may include heart and respiratory conditions, allergies, hormonal imbalances, cancer, chronic pain and digestive disorders. Although you'll be able to perform minor surgeries, the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians notes that naturopathic doctors don't perform major surgeries (www.naturopathic.org).
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