Fair question. Similar to allopaths, we’re required to attend a 4-year fully accredited 4-year medical university for their post-graduate study. And during that rigorous training, we are put through basic science boards as well as clinical rotations and we have to pass a national exam at the end of our education. Beyond that, there are licensing boards and regulating entities, national and state wide. Their entire function is to serve the public and make certain that naturopaths are practicing within their scope based on their education, keeping the practice of naturopathy safe within that scope. They also require naturopaths are licensed each year and follow continuing education requirements.
There are definitely similarities between primary care medical doctors and naturopaths because within the state health department, we are considered primary care physicians, we are able to prescribe pharmaceutical agents, legend drugs, we are able to order diagnostic studies and interpret them, like labs. We are also able order preventative screening tests and follow care over the course of your life. There are definitely quack doctors that are dangerous. Our industry calls them “the undies” because they practice outside of regulation and outside of licensure. They are acquiring certificates on an online 6-week course, put a little plaque on the wall that says, “naturopath” and they’re dangerous. You couldn’t quack much louder than that!