Doctorate Degree in Traditional Naturopathy: Online Degree
Do you have an interest in healing individuals who suffer from illness or injury? Have you always been fascinated by alternative forms of medicine? If so, you may want to consider earning a doctorate degree in traditional naturopathy. Read on to learn more about how you might enroll in such a program. Schools offering Complementary & Alternative Health degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What Is A Doctorate Degree In Traditional Naturopathy?
According to the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges (AANMC), there are no accredited online programs in traditional naturopathy, nor would it be advisable to enroll in the online programs that exist (www.aanmc.org). There are, however, a few accredited, on-campus programs available.
Accredited doctorate programs in naturopathy help you develop the ability to diagnose diseases and treat patients in much the same manner as traditional doctors. Unlike traditional doctors, however, you will learn non-invasive methods of treatment such as bodily manipulation, nutrition, herbal medicine, counseling and hydrotherapy. The six principles typically taught by most traditional naturopathy schools are:
- Do no harm
- Use the healing power of nature to restore health
- Identify and treat the cause, not the symptoms
- Treat the whole individual, not just the disease
- Act as a teacher as well as a physician
- Preach prevention as the best cure
What Courses Will I Take?
On top of the typical prerequisites for graduate-level degree programs, most naturopathic programs require you to have successfully completed a foundation of biology, chemistry, physics and psychology courses. Most schools also strongly recommend that you bring a familiarity with anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, botany and business when applying to their programs. Some less strongly suggest that you take courses in ethics, public speaking, microbiology and public health, as well.
During your 4-year or 5-year program, you are likely to engage in a combination of theoretical lecture and practical lab courses. Naturopathic medicine classes are sometimes an extension of prerequisite courses, including anatomy and physiology, histology, embryology and biochemistry. However, you will likely also participate in experiential classes in observation, diagnosis, palpation, gynecology, dermatology and oncology, among others. All programs culminate in a series of clinical rotations in which you are required to shadow doctors and eventually perform patient care.
What Do These Programs Prepare Me For?
These programs help prepare you to pass the naturopathic physicians licensing exam (NPLEX) offered by the North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners. The examination is divided into two parts, covering both biomedical sciences and core clinical sciences. Successful completion of a traditional naturopathy program and the NPLEX allows you become a licensed naturopathic doctor (ND).
The AANMC states that, as a licensed ND, you may currently only practice naturopathic medicine in 16 states. More states are in the process of legalizing the practice of natural medicine. As natural medicine is an emerging field, you could also decide to pursue careers such as a spokesperson, faulty member of an institution, researcher, wellness educator or political advocate.