Several schools around the United States offer Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine degree programs. Most natural medicine and health schools with a naturopathy doctorate degree program consider students based on their humanitarian qualities, like volunteer experience in the medical field. Applicants must have taken certain science courses during undergraduate career, including biology, chemistry, physics, and psychology; many schools strongly recommend coursework in biochemistry, anatomy, and physiology. Students who complete this program receive their Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine degree but cannot provide medical care in most states until they are licensed.
Doctoral Degree Programs in Naturopathy
These degrees include clinical training as well as classroom time focusing on science and health care. The doctoral program of naturopathic medicine takes four to five years to complete and begins with basic science courses in anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry. Over the coming semesters, it becomes more focused on natural cures, specific organs, and maintaining a medical office. Students complete a scientific curriculum that focuses on the body's pathological transitions through disease using clinical, physical, and lab diagnosis. Some coursework includes the following:
- Human physiology
- Manipulative therapy
Popular Career Options
According to information last updated by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) in 2015, more 30% of U.S. adults and 12% of children use some form of natural medicine. Natural health professionals are in demand today and can serve in a number of roles. Some of these occupations include:
- Primary natural care physician
- Medical research scientist
- Naturopathic consultant
- Wellness entrepreneur
- Natural medicine advisor
- Naturopathic medical institution faculty member
After completing all coursework, graduates should become licensed with the state in which they choose to practice naturopathic medicine. In order to do this, graduates must take and pass the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Exam (NPLEX), which covers basic sciences, clinical sciences, diagnostic and therapeutic subjects. There are currently 15 states that offer licensing of naturopathic physicians.
Those interested in naturopathy can pursue 4-5 year doctoral degree programs in the field. Graduates must attain licensing to practice as natural health professionals in a state.