If you’ve decided to pursue a career as a naturopathic doctor, congratulations! This is a path that will allow you to make a difference while connecting deeply with people, and will provide the flexibility to create the career of your dreams. The first step to success is to choose the institution that is the right fit for your education. There is no one ‘best’ school, but there is a best school for you.
Here are some important factors to consider when choosing your ND program.
Pay attention to the accreditation of the institutions that you are considering. In order to be licensed as a naturopathic doctor, you must have graduated from a Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME) accredited ND program and passed the national Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examination (NPLEX) or provincial College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO) professional examination. The CNME is the only agency recognized by the United States Department of Education to accredit ND programs. All AANMC member schools are fully accredited and will prepare you to take national or provincial licensing examinations.
It is important to choose an institution that is in a location that works for you. Many people who decide to pursue a career in naturopathic medicine have an established life that they do not wish to uproot. Luckily, there are AANMC institutions in different cities across the US and Canada, which means that many new students do not have to move in order to attend their program. If you will be relocating in order to attend ND school, spend some time researching the cities of the schools you are considering, and make sure that you choose an institution whose culture and location is suitable to your lifestyle and personal needs.
Student Learning Resources
It is essential to explore the way that your learning will be structured, and choose an institution and curriculum that supports the skills you are looking to acquire. The ND program you select should focus on hands-on learning by providing students with opportunities to participate in practical, lab-based study, collaborative practice, integrative medicine, and supervised clinical experience. Do a little research on the schools that you are considering and find out what kind of practical experience they offer so that you can pick the one that is most in line with your interests, and one that offers learning resources that will promote well-rounded skills in all aspects of naturopathic medicine.