American Association of Naturopathic Physicians’

Top 10 Reasons to Regulate Naturopathic Doctors

Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) are currently licensed or registered in many states and territories – and the benefits of regulation are considerable. Here are 10 of the key benefits of licensing or registering Naturopathic Doctors:


Prevention and Lower Health Care Costs

Naturopathic Doctors are specially trained in preventing chronic conditions (diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, chronic pain, depression). In 2010, most health care costs in the US – upwards of 85 percent – were for people with one or more chronic, potentially preventable diseases.*


Whole-Person Care

Naturopathic Doctors are trained to spend time with patients, to listen closely, to learn who they truly are, in order for patients to make needed lifestyle modifications to stay healthy.


Treat the Root Cause

Naturopathic Doctors are qualified to and do prescribe medication, in appropriate circumstances, but their focus is on the root causes of illness and early intervention in illness treatment, rather than symptom management.


Natural, Low Invasive Care

Naturopathic Doctors’ treatment regimen emphasizes natural, holistic approaches (e.g., nutrition, stress management, botanical medicine, mind-body medicine) that reduce the need for drugs and surgery and minimize the risk of harmful side effects.


Strong Education

Licensed and registered Naturopathic Doctors graduated from 4-year, graduate level naturopathic medical schools that are accredited by agencies approved by the U.S. Department of Education. Regulation gives them a legal framework within which to practice medicine in accordance with their education and training.


Protect the Public

Regulation of Naturopathic Doctors provides transparency and protects public health. It enables consumers to distinguish between qualified Naturopathic Doctors and “traditional naturopaths” who have little formal training.


Additional Primary Care Providers (PCPs)

Since they are trained as primary care providers, Naturopathic Doctors can help address the nationwide shortage of PCPs – and give patients more choice regarding their care.


Synchrony with MDs and DOs

Naturopathic Doctors are trained to co-manage patient treatment professionally, and to refer patients to conventional physicians and specialists as appropriate.


Drug-Herb Interactions

Naturopathic Doctors are skilled in managing patients’ medications and coordinating prescription medications with herb/nutritional supplementation.


Patient Empowerment

By learning about how their minds and bodies work holistically, Naturopathic Doctors’ patients are encouraged and empowered to take a more active role in achieving and maintaining wellness.

*Source and for further information:


Advocacy FAQ

Are naturopathic doctors licensed in Illinois?

Naturopathic doctors are not currently licensed in the state of Illinois. Bills have been introduced in the state legislature that provide nomenclature to license naturopathic doctors. Professional licensure is necessary to ensure the public has access to properly trained and educated naturopathic doctors.

Where are naturopathic doctors licensed or regulated?

For the most updated list of licensed and regulated states and territories, please visit the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians: Regulated States and Regulated Authorities.

Why is licensure important?

1. Public Safety
Because the state is not currently licensed anyone can call themselves a naturopathic doctor. This poses a huge threat to the public because they may think they are seeing a medically trained professional but in reality, they are seeing someone that simply received an online degree. Please read more about naturopathic medical education here.

2. 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. In licensed jurisdictions, all practitioners must meet the required educational and testing standards in order to practice as a naturopathic doctor. A licensing statute would establish a Board to oversee naturopathic physicians.

3. Universal Access to Naturopathic Treatment
By establishing licensure for naturopathic physicians, patients will be allowed access to effective, evidence-based natural healing therapies employed by highly trained professionals. Without a license, qualified naturopathic doctors cannot practice to the full scope of their education and training.

Find Out More Here: Information for Healthcare Professionals

4. Collaboration with Other 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.


Healthcare Professionals find out more here:

Information for Healthcare Professionals HERE >

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