Like many of you, I was horrified to hear the news of an 18-year-old Florida man allegedly posing as a doctor, despite not having any legitimate training or certification. As a representative of the naturopathic community, I was particularly dismayed to see this person – Malachi Love-Robinson – reference one of our accredited schools, claiming he had served as Chief Resident Physician.
After thorough investigations and research on our part, the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges can state – with complete certainty – that this young man has no ties with any of our schools, nor the naturopathic community as a whole.
This incident brings to light exactly why the AANMC exists – to advance the naturopathic medical profession by actively supporting accredited and recognized schools, as well as our esteemed alumni.
Simply put, we have no tolerance for any individual who aims to do harm to our field of study by delivering false claims.
Becoming a naturopathic physician requires years of schooling and hands-on experience
As Executive Director of the AANMC, I know first-hand that there are many people who are unfamiliar with the training required to become a licensed naturopathic physician.
While each of our 7 programs vary slightly in both prerequisites and course offerings, they all require students to commit to several years of intensive study. This includes:
- A strong science-based background during a student’s first two years
- Hands-on experience via clinical training during the third and fourth years
- Residencies and shadowing for post-graduates
Graduates of our accredited programs come away with the same level of experience and education that you’d expect from any practicing medical doctor. In other words, it would be quite the astounding feat for an 18-year-old man to have graduated from an accredited naturopathic school.
In regards to Mr. Love-Robinson, this was not the case.
At this moment, countless licensed and skilled naturopathic physicians are fulfilling their commitment to our practice, which includes subscribing to the 6 naturopathic principles:
- Trust in the body’s inherent wisdom to heal itself
- Look beyond the symptoms to the underlying cause
- Utilize the most natural, least invasive and least toxic therapies
- Educate patients in the steps to achieving and maintaining health
- View the body as an integrated whole in all its physical and spiritual dimensions
- Focus on overall health, wellness, and disease prevention
In concert with our principles, I can only hope that none of the victims of this terrible violation of trust were severely harmed (physically or mentally) by the wonton behavior of an individual who, in no way, represents our naturopathic community.
We are a community of caregivers who understand, and fully respect, the important role we offer to our patients. While we are dismayed to have been associated, in any way, with this event, our focus is more so on the men, women, and children who were misled for so long.
We are encouraged to see the matter has now been turned over to our legal system, and we trust that if Mr. Love-Robinson is proven guilty of his charges, that he receives a just and swift punishment.
Yours in health,
JoAnn Yanez, ND, MPH
AANMC Executive Director