Licensing of Naturopathic Doctors

Currently, 16 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands license Naturopathic Doctors.  In order to be eligible for a license, NDs must:

– have graduated from a 4-year, residential naturopathic medical school accredited by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME), which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education

– have passed extensive postdoctoral board examinations, including 5 basic sciences exams and 10 clinical board exams

– fulfill state-mandated continuing education requirements annually

In States that do not require licensure, anyone may claim to be a “Naturopath” or “Naturopathic Doctor.”  The consumer will not know if these people have any formal training at a school recognized by the U.S. government, or if they have obtained a “doctorate” from an online correspondence school or a weekend seminar.  While these people may have life experience or training in some aspect of natural medicine, some represent themselves to have much more expertise than they actually do.  It is always wise to ask your health care provider for his or her credentials, for your own safety & knowledge.

A properly trained and licensable ND should have graduated from the Naturopathic Medicine Program of one of the following accredited, 4-year naturopathic medical schools:

Bastyr University in Seattle, WA

National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR

National University of Health Sciences in Lombard, IL

Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, AZ

University of Bridgeport – College of Naturopathic Medicine in Bridgeport, CT

Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine in British Columbia, Canada

Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Ontario, Canada

He or she will also have successfully passed all portions of the NPLEX (Naturopathic Physician Licensing Examination), which follows the same standards as the National Board of Medical Examiners (used by MDs), the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners, the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners, and exams of other licensed healthcare professions.

More information on the licensing of Naturopathic Doctors in New Hampshire can be found at the General Court of New Hampshire, Chapter 328-E.

More information on the licensing and education of Naturopathic Physicians throughout the United States can be found at the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.