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Naturopath Job Description, Career as a Naturopath, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

patients medical naturopaths treatment


Training/Educational Requirements: Completion of medical school and license

Median Salary: $50,000 per year

Job Prospects: Good

Job Description


A naturopath works to treat their patients using more natural techniques and practices. They may work with patients in a more holistic method of treatment where they focus on what the body is actually requiring, and stay away from techniques such as surgery. A naturopath works to heal the body by incorporating the forces of nature and pushing the body to actually heal itself. This is an alternative type of medical practice, considered to be a form of alternative medicine.

There are two types of naturopaths: The traditional version has been around for years and doesn’t require a medical license. A modern version does require a medical license and may use medications, albeit more natural versions. No matter what type of practice she or he follows, a naturopath focuses on natural remedies for diagnosis, treatment, and the cure of ailments and illnesses. Naturopaths have to work closely with their patients in the consultation phase to understand what the true source of the medical problem is so that they may focus their efforts accordingly. A naturopath acts as any other physician in that they consult with the patients at the beginning of the process.

Because one of the main focuses for naturopaths is to treat their patients using minimally invasive treatments, it is essential that naturopathic professional promote alternative methods of healing. They may promote and educate on living a healthier lifestyle and work with their patients to determine what that means and what changes or modifications are required. Naturopaths focus on psychology as much as the physical being, and so these medical professionals work with patients to understand what mental conditions in addition to physical issues may be plaguing the patients. Naturopaths then help the patients to work through these mental concerns, which can aid in physical treatment plans. A licensed naturopath may act as a primary care physician for patients because they may see them for any variety of conditions and work though many different diagnoses and treatments.

A naturopath is responsible for many of the same things that a regular doctor handles in terms of patient consultations, diagnosis, and treatment. They must perform research to help treat their patients, and they must offer tests or procedures, though these will be less invasive than those of traditional medicine. Naturopaths may work hand in hand with other alternative medical professionals, such as acupuncturists, so that they can provide this as part of a patient’s treatment plan. If naturopaths work for a small practice or have their own, they may be responsible for all of the business aspects as well, including managing any staff.

Training/Educational Requirements


A traditional naturopath doesn’t need to follow a set educational requirement. Instead naturopaths can demonstrate proficiency in treatment methods in other ways. A modern naturopath may practice as a primary care physician if they complete medical school and obtain a license. As with any other type of physician, this type of naturopath must keep up with all training requirements to keep the license current in the state where the physician practices.

Training is a major element for a naturopath. It is essential that naturopaths keep up with new treatment methods and other forms of alternative medicine that can help their patients. They need to be well-versed not only in healing the physical ailments, but in understanding what underlying mental problems may be contributing to them. They must be well-prepared to see their patients and provide proper diagnosis, and this entails a great deal of research. It can be helpful to be a part of associations within the industry and to attend any events or workshops to learn new and helpful ways to treat their patients in this alternative manner.

How to Get Hired


The best way to be hired initially as a naturopath may be to get a medical license and operate as a primary care physician within a holistic or alternative medical clinic. Those working as a traditional naturopath may find work in the same facility, but may not be able to offer all of the same services. Getting hired as part of a medical staff can be an excellent way to get started, and may help to build up necessary experience. Beyond that, as naturopaths move throughout their career, they may wish to open their own practice. This requires a great deal of knowledge and experience that patients can rely on. Being able to effectively market their services and then provide proper treatment is the best way for a naturopath to be chosen by patients and to continue to build up a good solid client base.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook, and Career Development


Not only does the role of a naturopath show promise because it is a part of the health care industry, but because it is also part of a growing niche. As more and more people turn to alternative methods of healing or medicine, the role of a naturopath becomes a popular and important one. This means that there is great potential for job opportunities because a naturopath heals a wide assortment of patients who turn to these natural healing methods.

More medical clinics and holistic medicine facilities wish to meet the growing demand of patients to be seen by naturopathic doctor, and as the push toward healthy living and more natural ways of healing and medicating continues to grow, the need for naturopaths is expected to grow along with it.

Working Environment


Though the specific environment may vary, naturopaths generally work in some sort medical facility. They usually have their own office within that facility and then have exam and treatment rooms where they may provide the necessary healing that their patients require. This may be different from a traditional physician’s office, though, in that naturopaths work to provide a calm and almost serene environment for their patients. This means that there shouldn’t be an underlying tone of stress, but instead an atmosphere of happiness and healing.

Salary and Benefits


Though the average salary for a naturopath is around $50,000, there is a great variance general salary possibilities. The biggest factor contributing to this is experience level, as new naturopaths may earn as little as $27,500, and those with a great deal of experience may earn upwards of $100,000. In addition to experience level, the geographical location or manner in which the naturopath practices may have a lot to do with the salary as well. A naturopath can expect to earn traditional benefits if they work as part of a medical staff or team, such as good medical coverage, paid vacation and sick days, as well as a pension savings account. If they work on their own or as part of a smaller practice, they may expect to provide their own benefits but potentially earn a bigger salary.
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