Education and Training – High School Diploma
Average Salary – $20,000 – $200,000
Job Outlook – Very good
Naturopathic doctors are medical professionals who aim to improve the health of patients using naturopathic and non-conventional treatments although these may be prescribed alongside more conventional forms of medicine.
The role of a naturopathic doctor is to take a holistic approach to patient health and aim to improve their vitality and well being using a mixture of natural disciplines. Some of the methods used by naturopathic doctors include herbal and natural remedies, the food a patient eats, and other non-conventional forms of treatment. This holistic approach to patient well being and health has a basis in many Eastern approaches to medicine which see health as being related to the entirety of a person’s being rather than a specific condition.
Education and Training Requirements
Becoming a Naturopathic Doctor involves gaining a degree accredited by the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges. This is usually a four year doctorate program which equips students with the skills and experience needed to become successful holistic physicians. Entry requirements for this degree vary from school to school but certain background courses are advantageous.
The study of scientific and health related courses in High School and College is a desirable background for someone who is applying for a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine. It is always worth checking with individual schools if they have any formal prerequisites for their degree courses.
Getting the Job
Obtaining a position as a Naturopathic Doctor can occur via a number of routes. It is essential that Naturopathic Doctors hold a degree from an accredited institute. Once this has happened there are a number of ways that degree holders can transition from study to work. Some choose to apply for residencies in existing Naturopathic practices. This is an excellent starting point and a great way to get practical experience.
Other graduates from Naturopathic schools may decide to start their own practice or go into partnership with fellow graduates to establish a practice. This is a lucrative route which requires a lot of organization and perseverance.
Desirable personality traits fort a Naturopathic Doctor include the ability to be empathetic, caring, and a good listener.
Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development
The field of naturopathic medicine is one which is growing around the world. People are becoming more and more open minded to the possibilities presented by alternative medicine and holistic health. This is partly due to the rise of the internet and the ability of people to find out the negative aspects of conventional medicine.
In terms of job prospects, this means that more people in the future are likely to want to consult Naturopathic Doctors and this demand will be increased by an expanding population. In terms of career progression, it is common for experienced Naturopathic Doctors to set up their own practice, or act as a consultant for other naturopathic doctors.
Working Conditions and Environment
Naturopathic Doctors will typically work within a holistic health care practice, either by setting up their own or joining an existing practice. These tend to be pleasant places as holistic medicine emphasizes the virtues of calm and tranquility. The working routine for a Naturopathic Doctor will typically include conducting one to one meetings with patients. It is not a stressful, pressured job per se, but does involve responsibility and the ability to cope with other people’s problems.
Salary and Benefits
The salary for a Naturopathic Doctor differs depending upon which point of their career they are at. For newly qualified Doctors in residency, typical earnings are around $20,000 – $30,000 per year. Experienced Doctors with their own practice can earn in excess of $200,000 a year. Most practices offer Naturopathic Doctors a range of benefits including health care and sick pay.
Where to Go for More Information
American Association of Naturopathic Physicians
4435 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, Ste. 403
Washington, DC 20016
Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges (AANMC)
4435 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Ste. 403
Washington, DC 20016
Fax: (202) 237-8152
Council on Naturopathic Medical Education
PO Box 178
Great Barrington, MA 01230