Naturopathic Doctors

Picture of a Naturopathic Doctor in San Diego holding Vegetables

What is a naturopathic doctor?

Naturopathic doctors are physicians who combine the wisdom of nature with modern science. Naturopathic medicine is based on the traditional practices and healing methods while focusing on the holistic, comprehensive diagnosis, proactive prevention and treatment. It involves a functional approach to health care, evaluating the physiological and biochemical imbalances in an individual and thereafter using scientifically proven natural ways to correct these imbalances. Naturopathic doctors use healing practices that help your body improve its natural ability to heal itself at minimal risks of harm. To do this, the physician ensures that there is a healthy internal and external healing environment. They not only just identify a disease’s symptoms but they also identify the root cause of a medical disorder.

Naturopathic doctors can be found in clinics, community health centers, hospitals, and some work in private institutions. They are able to provide both individual and family healthcare. Though naturopathic medicine focuses much on the use of natural healing agents, naturopathic doctors are also trained to utilize prescription drugs. Some of the most common medical conditions that they treat include Digestive issues, allergies, chronic pain, obesity, hormonal imbalances, heart diseases, respiratory conditions, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, cancer, menopause, adrenal fatigue, and fertility problems. They are also able to perform minor surgeries such as stitching up superficial wounds and removing cysts.

Training and discipline

Training in naturopathic medicine is in line with conventional medical training and requires a minimum of seven years secondary education from a recognized institution. If you want to become a naturopathic doctor San Diego, you must have completed premedical undergraduate coursework, completed a four-year naturopathic medical education and have an undergraduate degree.

The areas of training during the four years full-time naturopathic medicine curriculum include basic sciences, clinical disciplines, clinical experience, and naturopathic disciplines. All students are required to have completed at least 1, 500 hours of clinical requirements and shown expertise in all the various aspects of the Naturopathic Medicine before they graduate.

Before becoming a graduate, you must have passed two provincial licensing board examinations of which afterwards you will always be required to keep your registration up to date throughout your career. To do this, you will complete at least 70 hours after every three years continuing education. Naturopathic doctors are trained in various techniques and therapies which focus on the patient as an individual. This is to ensure that the patient achieves his or her optimum level of healthy status.


Naturopathic doctors are regulated under the Drugless Practitioners Act, 1990 and are regulated by the Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy Naturopathy. However, they are still waiting for the proclaiming of the Naturopathy Act, 2007 that is supposed to put naturopathic medicine under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991.

Your first visit to a naturopathic doctor

When you visit a San Diego naturopathic doctor for the first time, they will take some time with you, like an hour. The doctor will first take your health history including your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. They will also find out your stress level, use of alcohol and tobacco, evaluate your diet and then discuss with you the reason for your visit. They will require some time in order for them to ask you enough questions to help them understand your health condition. They may use diagnostic tests to help them understand more about your health status. After gathering the appropriate information, they may do appropriate examinations. Thereafter, they will teach you on how to manage your health condition and also improve it using one or more disciplines which may include botanical medicine, Asian medicine, lifestyle counseling, homeopathy, clinical nutrition, or acupuncture. They may perform optional diagnostic tests or optional examination. Thereafter, they will work with you to come up with a customized health management strategy for you. Naturopathic doctors are always keeping themselves abreast with the latest in scientific research and apply this in their treatment so you can always expect the best. Naturopathic doctors also understand the language of conventional medicine and can speak it. Therefore, they can also diagnose you the way medical doctors do but with a whole new treatment strategy. Sometimes, they may refer you to other naturopath San Diego or health care providers if need be. They communicate to other medical doctors through consultations and referrals.