Natural Health Practioners versus Naturopathic Physicians
Posted Feb 25 2011 5:43pm
With the very sad decline of American medicine, many people are turning to alternative medicine. After hearing some tragic accounts of what various patients have gone through I can certainly understand this. There are some wonderful physicians but it may take a fair amount of researching and networking to find just the right one.
I was interested in an article in the New York Times on 2/22/11 by Dan Frosch about Naturanl Health Practitioners and Naturopathic Physicians. I had not known the difference or been aware of their training. According to the article, Natural Health Practitioners do not have to have any specific trainin, whereas Naturopathic Physicians must complete a four-year accredited school, pass an examination, and have some clinical training. This is very different from an M.D's training which is four years of college, four years of medical school and a year of internship, plus three to five or six years of additional residenty or specialized training.
Another concern about alternative medicine is individuals who claim that they have special training when they essentially just hang up a shingle and call themselves "doctor". If a nurse with a Ph.D in nursing can call herself or himself "Doctor", I think you have to be very careful to check on an individual's credentials before you allow the "Doctor" to treat you or prescribe medicine or herbs. Accupuncture can yield some excellent results, as can massage and other forms of stress reduction, But taking strange herbs and medications is not something that I would be willing to do.