Our Quest for Licensure
Illinois citizens seeking
naturopathic treatment deserve peace of mind, protection and assurance
that their provider has achieved established education and medical
training standards. Licensure means professional medical standards must
Why Illinois Should License Naturopathic Physicians...
- Public Safety
By establishing licensure for naturopathic physicians, the public can be assured of the physician-level naturopathic medical training of these healthcare professionals.
The public deserves the peace-of-mind and protection of knowing that naturopathic physicians have met established educational and medical training standards.
Without licensure, there is no way for a member of the public to discern who is legitimately qualified to practice naturopathic medicine. In the state of Illinois, anyone can use the title “naturopathic doctor” or “ND” and assert that they are qualified to practice naturopathic medicine. This includes those individuals who have obtained a certificate from a naturopathic diploma mill institution, or a web-based agency. An individual seeking healthcare from these unqualified individuals may experience harm from delayed or incorrect diagnoses, harmful treatments, and fraudulent claims and associated expense.
- Professional Accountability
Like other medical professionals in the state, licensure for naturopathic physicians will provide direct accountability for care and treatment according to standards enforced by professional regulators at the State of Illinois.
While you can never fully guarantee “public safety” from any doctor, the fact is that the public needs some mechanism or standard to be able to tell the difference between the untrained and the highly trained. In licensed jurisdictions, all practitoners must meet the required educational and testing standards in order to practice as a naturopathic doctor. Also, in licensed jurisdictions, all the potential patient has to do is call the licensing board or look on the web site to find out if the naturopathic doctor that they want to see is qualified. A licensing statute would establish a Board to oversee naturopathic doctors. Any member of the public who feels harmed by a member of the naturopathic profession can report this to the Board who is statutorily obligated to investigate this complaint. Any wrongdoing results in fines and, in some cases, revocation of the doctor’s license to practice. In this way, the public’s safety is protected.
- Universal Access to Naturopathic Treatment
By establishing licensure for naturopathic physicians, patients will be allowed access to effective, science-based natural healing therapies employed by highly trained professionals.
Without a license, qualified (CNME approved program graduates) naturopathic doctors cannot practice to the full scope of their education and training. Currently, without licensure, NDs are unable to diagnose or to provide naturopathic treatment in the state of Illinois.
- Beneficial Affect on other Licensed Medical Professionals
Naturopathic licensure will increase collaborative health care and will provide patients with the most effective integrated care possible. Naturopathic doctors are trained to refer their patients to conventional medical doctors for additional diagnosis and conventional treatments. Many conventional doctors want a licensed provider of natural medicine to whom they can confidently refer their patients for natural therapies.