Saturday, February 13, 2010
In North America, there are six educational institutions whose programs are accredited by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education. This organization is recognized by states, territories and provinces where naturopathic medicine is regulated. Two of these schools are located in Canada and four in the United States. Another American school is applying for accreditation (see Sites of interest).
All these institutions offer a four-year university full time, or at least 4000 hours, leading to a doctorate in naturopathy. Following their training, students must pass the examination of the North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners before obtaining a license entitling them to exercise.
The training of naturopaths varies somewhat from country to country, but generally includes courses in medical sciences (biology, anatomy, physiology, immunology, etc..), Clinical (diagnosis, laboratory, naturopathic principles, etc.. ) and specialized techniques (nutritional therapy, homeopathy, herbal medicine, hydrotherapy, Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, etc..). In Germany, training in naturopathic medicine is already integrated with that of doctors and pharmacists. It also trains practitioners specialized in naturopathy, the heilpraktikers.
Where there are no regulations governing the practice of naturopathy, as is the case in Quebec, various schools and organizations offer a variety of courses. Some offer a very minimal training, while others, including the curriculum is similar to that of accredited institutions, can form excellent health counselors. However, they can not qualify for the licensing of naturopathic that is valid where the practice is recognized.