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Naturopathic Doctors Want to Keep you Well!

In order for healthcare costs to change,well-care must be an option in every state. Well-care,which is what naturopathic doctors do,isn’t about treating a sick person, but about keeping a person well.

My daughter, who is studying to become a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) forwarded me the following email from the Chief Executive Officer of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP).

“I'm writing to encourage you to sign a petition that's recently been posted on the "We the People" section of the White House website. The petition calls on the federal government to make sure that naturopathic doctors are included in the implementation of the national health care reform law.

The petition will send a powerful message to the White House that consumers want access to naturopathic doctors. The federal government, through the implementation of health care reform, has many opportunities to put naturopathic doctors on a level playing field with other licensed health care professionals.

I hope you'll do everything you can to spread the word about the petition. Tweet about it. Post it on Facebook or on your blog. Tell your family, friends, and patients to sign the petition and spread the word. Let's make our voices heard.

In health,

Jud Richland, MPH

AANP Chief Executive Officer

Please click here to sign this very important petition to ask President Obama to include licensed naturopathic physicians as primary care providers in the federal health care law.

Did you know that licensed naturopathic physicians attend four-year, graduate-level naturopathic medical school and are educated in all of the same basic sciences as medical doctors? NDs also study holistic and nontoxic approaches to therapy with a strong emphasis on disease prevention and optimizing wellness.

In addition to a standard medical curriculum, the naturopathic physician is required to complete four years of training in clinical nutrition, acupuncture, homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, psychology, and counseling (to encourage people to make lifestyle changes in support of their personal health).

A naturopathic physician also takes rigorous professional board exams so that he or she may be licensed by a state or jurisdiction as a primary care general practice physician.

To find out more about Naturopathic Doctors, click here to go to the AANP website.

Currently, 16 states, the District of Columbia, and the United States territories of Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands have licensing laws for naturopathic doctors. New York is NOT one of the states with licensing laws, but efforts are underway in New York and at least 10 other states to license naturopathic doctors.

In in many states where there are no regulations for naturopathy, anyone can call themselves a naturopathic doctor, even if they finished a home study course in as little as six weeks. New York is NOT one of the states with licensing laws.Licensing in New York will offer the public a way to find qualified naturopaths who perform this important aspect of complementary and integrative medicine.

If you would like to see New York institute ND licensing, please follow this link to contact New York lawmakers. You can also contact the sponsors of this bill, Senator LaValle by phone 518-455-3121 or email lavalle@nysenate.gov  and Assemblyman Perry by phone 718-385-3336 or 518-455-4166 to let them know you are in support of ND licensing.

This Bill: S1803C/A3057A “Professional Licensing of Naturopathic Doctors” sponsored by LaValle and Perry is waiting to be heard!!  If we license NDs in New York, it means all New Yorkers will be able to be treated by a licensed Naturopathic Doctor AND have their visits covered by insurance.

What else will New York licensure do? Experts say that in order for healthcare costs to change, well-care must be a viable option in every state. Well-care, which is what naturopathic doctors do, isn’t about treating a sick person, but about keeping a person well. Many maintain that well-care can prevent disease by identifying risk factors and therefore lower health care costs.

This bill will provide title clarification by requiring the title Naturopathic Doctor to apply only to those professionals who complete the rigorous medical school training described above, and who have passed national board exams. This will resolve confusion when searching for a qualified professional in the natural health field. Currently anyone can use the term "naturopath" even when their training is from a distance learning program.

There is a tremendous shortage of primary care physicians in New York and many New Yorkers are leaving the state to get the health care they want! They have to travel across state borders to seek naturopathic treatment, which means that millions of dollars are going out of state due to lack of naturopathic licensure. Billions of dollars are going to treat chronic health issues (diabetes and heart disease) that NDs are specifically trained to prevent. Naturopathic doctors, once licensed, would help to fill these voids...

Licensure will allow New Yorkers access to the services of ND’s and provide a valuable resource for the health and wellness of New Yorkers . An added bonus is that my daughter (and other NDs) will be able to become licensed to practice Naturopathy in New York! My daughter recently earned her Doctorate in Pharmacy and is well qualified to continue her education in order to become a licensed Naturopathic Physician, but she (and others) need your help! 

Please contact your elected officials so that NDs can become licensed in New York AND so that New Yorkers can have full access to the services provided by well-trained licensed naturopathic doctors.

Also, please dont forget to sign the petition to President Obama so that WE the PEOPLE can have the option to seek alternative medicine care that will be covered by Obamacare (health insurance) AND provide access for those currently unable to afford care otherwise.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Deborah Klughers November 27, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Thanks Anne! Im glad you are here to help people. FYI: I just received an email from Assemblyman Fred Thiele. He is a co-sponsor of the NY bill mentioned aboove. He "fully agree(s) that licensing of naturopathic professionals will offer the public a way to find qualified naturopaths who perform this important aspect of complementary and integrative medicine." and "will continue to work to bring this legislation to the floor for a vote during the upcoming 2013 Legislative Session." Thanks Fred! And to everyone else, PLEASE take the time to send a letter or call our NY lawmakers in support of ND licensing and also sign the petition to the White House.
Faustina November 27, 2012 at 05:06 PM
Naturpathy is a marketing, feel good concept that has forced itself into consideration at medical schools. Flawed or not, restrictive or not, unequal or not medical science in this country and the western world defines the frontier where knowledge rests -- holistic, naturopathic, natural and herbal ignorance should not be encouraged. The smug stupidity and any half-baked idea someone wants to promote under a feel-good label should be investigated not licensed as an arm of medicine. .
free wheeling November 27, 2012 at 05:11 PM
I am writing to urge President Obama (who I did not vote for) not to license any practice that describes itself as promoting "wellness" . When I see holistic and wellness ideas it is usually to sell the latest miracle vitamin or herbal junk. And what exactly is a naturopathic university? If you fell to your knees clutching your chest would you call for an ambulance to take you to a hospital, or ring up a yoga instructor?
Rick Hoyt November 29, 2012 at 11:20 AM
There is room for both Naturopathic and Traditional Western Medicine.Western Medicine would be for Trauma Or if an Operation is required.I Personally believe that Health should be based on Nutrition - Organic foods, Clean water, Mitigating Unnecessary stress,restorative regular sleep.Chemotherapy or Radiation Would Not be for Me, JMHO.
Anne Van Couvering December 19, 2012 at 04:39 PM
I guess it's not very "free-wheeling" to do some research on the things you post about. Naturopathic medical schools (not "universities") are four year, post-graduate schools accredited by Federal and Regional boards, eligible for federal financial aid as medical students. In several states we are recognized by state boards and insurance companies as primary care physicians, and are eligible for DEA numbers to prescribe controlled substances. All of these people, who HAVE done their research, consider naturopathic medical schools to be legitimate places to train doctors. We're the people you go to to make sure that the alternative medicine you are taking is NOT the latest "miracle vitamin" or "herbal junk" - the people with the training and research to know the difference. And of course you don't go to a naturopath when you're having a heart attack, any more than you would make an appointment with your primary care doc -that's just plain silly. We are not replacements for standard medical care, we are "complementary" - we offer alternatives when people have exhausted the choices their MDs have to offer, or want to head a condition (eg diabetes, hypertension) off at the pass before it becomes serious enough to warrant pharmaceutical intervention, and they want to do it safely, under supervision of a competent professional.

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