Ever wonder what you can do as a naturopathic doctor? From the wide range of job opportunities, to the chance to be on the cutting edge of science and technology, there are a multitude of reasons why people choose to pursue a career in naturopathic medicine. For many, it is the sense of giving back to their community that motivates them as evidenced by the outgrowth of community clinics and outreach programs affiliated with accredited naturopathic medical programs. If you are considering going into the naturopathic medical field, having a passion to help others is tantamount to the mission of naturopathy.
One of the basic tenets of naturopathic medicine is education/doctor as teacher. NDs focus on teaching patients how to live a healthier life. As a result, many ND students are drawn to the profession looking for a chance to make a profound change in people’s lives. If you choose to go into a naturopathic medical career, you will have the opportunity to directly impact your home community, or take your volunteer spirit international with a “Peace Corps” style program to treat and educate patients in developing countries. In addition to the educational services that are a hallmark of naturopathic medicine, you may also be able to participate in the following specialty programs:
Nutritional Health – Approximately half of all American adults experience chronic disease that can be ameliorated or reversed through diet and exercise.1 As such, nutritional health, is an area that can benefit many patient populations. By specializing in nutrition, you can work as part of a team-based approach, helping to bring healthier eating habits in different communities, and working with patients to address the root cause of illness.
Major Disease Treatment – HIV and cancer are two diseases ravaging many communities. As a naturopathic doctor, you will have the opportunity to focus on the treatments of these diseases, using natural therapies and treatments to help ease the symptoms and side effects of treatment. Learn more about the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians (OncANP) or watch this webinar – The Role of Naturopathic Medicine in Cancer Care – featuring OncANP President – Dr. Heather Wright to learn more about how NDs work with cancer patients.
Domestic Violence Clinics – One focus area that some NDs choose to follow is the field of domestic violence treatment. These clinics often provide a safe space for families in the midst of abuse. There is typically an emphasis on whole person care, ranging from treatment of physical ailments, to social services and mental health. As with all of the naturopathic medical programs, these clinics use a team-based approach to bring together multiple specialists and treat the whole patient. An example of a domestic violence shelter is the Sojourner Center at the Sonoran University of Health Sciences.
Drug Treatment Programs – North America is currently under the shadow of an opioid drug epidemic. Naturopathic medicine offers non-opioid, non-addictive alternatives to treating pain. By incorporating holistic health care such as acupuncture, nutritional and botanical medicine, naturopathic drug treatment programs and pain centers will give you the opportunity to do your part to combat this major international crisis. Click here to learn how naturopathic medicine can help patients manage pain and overcome addiction.
Veterans Programs – If you are interested in making a difference, one pathway is to work with community clinics and programs helping to treat veterans. Naturopathic doctors offer integrative primary care options for a variety of issues including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and chronic pain. Watch this free on-demand AANMC webinar – PTSD and the Six Principles of Naturopathic Medicine.
International Service – Naturopathic medicine affords opportunities to travel overseas to treat patients through programs such as Naturopaths Without Borders (NWB) and Homeopaths Without Borders. Click here to register for Naturopathic Doctors and Global Health – a free AANMC webinar hosted by Dr. Sean Hesler – Executive Director of Naturopaths Without Borders.
Specialty Community Clinics – In addition to the opportunity to travel overseas, many naturopathic schools offer specialty clinics that provide care to different patient populations, including immigrants, LGBTQ and pediatrics. NDs students are able to learn in these hands-on, real-world settings and provide valuable care to patients who need it most.
Accredited naturopathic medical college clinics
Learn more about each of the accredited programs’ clinical offerings below.
- Bastyr Center for Natural Health – Seattle, WA
- Bastyr University Clinic – San Diego, CA
- Boucher Naturopathic Medical Clinic – New Westminster, BC
- Robert Schad Naturopathic Clinic – Toronto, ON
- NUNM Health Centers – Portland, OR
- Sonoran University Patient Care – Tempe, AZ
- UB Clinics – Bridgeport, CT
- Whole Health Center – Aurora and Lombard, IL
The future job prospects for naturopathic doctors are growing and are expected to continue to grow. If you are interested in pursuing a career in naturopathic medicine, you will be joining an exciting field that is poised to help local and international communities access safe and effective natural medicine.