Naturopathic Doctor degree programs typically last four years and programs require applicants to have a bachelor's degree for admission. While no specific majors are required, pre-medical or science degree-holders may have an advantage. At the least, completed coursework in biology, chemistry, physics and psychology is typically required, and a strong foundation in other science principles, like botany and biochemistry, is highly suggested.
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Doctoral Degree of Naturopathic Medicine
Students learn about each system of the body, in addition to diseases and clinical procedures. Aspiring NDs must have a large skill set of alternative treatment techniques. A doctoral program in naturopathic medicine typically covers the following subjects:
- Biomedical pathology
- Botanical medicine
- Hydrotherapy and physiotherapy
- Fundamentals of traditional Chinese medicine
- Naturopathy history and theory
Popular Career Options
With a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine degree, graduates are eligible to enter various natural medicine careers. Possible positions include:
- Naturopathic primary care physician
- Research scientist for natural medicines
- Wellness educator
- Spokesperson for naturopathic medicines
- Consultant for natural treatments
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics groups naturopathic physicians under health diagnosing and treating practitioners, all other. The projected job outlook for health diagnosing and treating practitioners is 17% for 2014-2024. These workers earned a mean annual wage of $85,120 in 2015.
Licensing and Continuing Education Information
Naturopathic medicine is not regulated in all states. In states that require licensing, the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examination (NPLEX) fulfills initial requirements, although continuing education may be required. Many naturopathic doctors belong to the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (www.naturopathic.org) professional organization.
Students interested in studying natural treatment methods and medicine can earn a doctoral degree in naturopathic medicine. Graduates can expect positive job growth and may need to obtain state licensure to practice.