A CAREER THAT COMBINES THE HEALING POWER OF NATURE WITH MODERN SCIENCE?
Attending a Naturopathic Medical School May Be the Right Choice for You –
And Here are Ten Reasons Why
As patients become more aware and interested in natural remedies to treat disease, educational and career opportunities are taking off in the naturopathic medical field — a distinct primary care profession that combines the healing power of nature with the rigors of modern science.
“For students who want to pursue a healthcare career and have a passion for natural, self-healing and nutrition-centric approaches to disease prevention and treatment, enrolling in a naturopathic medical school is the perfect first step on the road to a rewarding future,” said Dr. JoAnn Yanez, executive director of the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges (AANMC), which represents seven naturopathic medical colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada (see list below).
According to the 2016 Graduate Success and Compensation Study, conducted by AANMC, there are many reasons to consider pursuing a naturopathic medical education and career, including these ten:
- Reason: Virtually all graduates from naturopathic medical colleges are using their degrees professionally – and most as entrepreneurs who own their own practice.
Fact: More than nine out of ten naturopathic medical college graduates become professionals in the field, with two-thirds owning their own practice and one-third joining a private practice with other naturopathic doctors.
- Reason: The vast majority of naturopathic medical college graduates say they are satisfied with their career decision.
Fact: Nearly three-quarters – 74 percent — of naturopathic medical college graduates are pleased with their choice to go to a naturopathic medical school.
- Reason: Graduates from naturopathic medical schools are finding professional opportunities in a wide range of areas.
Fact: While naturopathic medical school graduates often use their degrees to become clinicians, many others are working in rewarding careers as health consultants, writers, public speakers, academic faculty and administrators.
- Reason: Naturopathic medical professionals are able to enjoy a healthy work-life balance.
Fact: More than 70 percent of naturopathic medical college graduates who become professionals in the field say they are happy with their work-life balance, compared to just over 40 percent of MDs.
- Reason: The naturopathic medical approach offers students and professionals the unique opportunity to align their personal philosophies and ethics with their healthcare careers.
Fact: The six guiding principles of naturopathic medical care are fundamental drivers of both career and personal satisfaction for professionals in the field. Those principals are: The Healing Power of Nature; Identify and Treat the Cause; First Do No Harm; Doctor as Teacher; Treat the Whole Person; and Prevention.
- Reason: For naturopathic medical school students and graduates with education debt, there are various options in place to manage the financial challenge.
Fact: Government loan repayment and forgiveness programs are available through various organizations to lessen the financial burden of education costs.
- Reason: Naturopathic doctors are educated and trained in all of the same basic sciences and clinical diagnostics as MDs, and can often offer the same full scope of treatments.
Fact: Naturopathic doctors don’t have to make a choice between using natural remedies and conventional medicine. In addition to focusing on natural, self-healing treatments, they often order prescription drugs, blood work and other tests as needed.
- Reason: Naturopathic medical professionals treat a wide range of conditions affecting millions of patients.
Fact: Patients seek naturopathic medical care for such common conditions as chronic pain, allergies, cancer, anxiety and depression, heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune disease, infertility, fatigue and others.
- Reason: Naturopathic doctors are easy and convenient for patients to locate in states where they are licensed, providing ample opportunity for a practice to be recognized and grow over time.
Fact: Licensed naturopathic doctors – those who graduate from an accredited naturopathic medical school and have passed the licensing exam – are part of an easy-to-search physician database on the AANP website (in the U.S.) and the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors site (in Canada).
- Reason: As more and more patients recognize the vital role of nutrition to staying healthy — a centerpiece of naturopathic medical care and philosophy -opportunities will continue to grow to keep up with demand.
Fact: The 2016 Organic Industry Survey, conducted by the Organic Trade Association, shows that the organic food industry is growing at more than a double-digit pace over the past four years, which signals interest by consumers in healthy nutrition is on the rise. By taking ample time to get to know every patient’s health history, including nutritional habits, naturopathic medical professionals can often identify the root causes of illness and disease, as opposed to merely treating symptoms. Nutritional habits are commonly found to be a contributing factor to health problems and can be corrected before symptoms develop.
Students who are interested in learning more about the expanding educational and career opportunities in naturopathic medicine are encouraged to check out the AANMC website, www.aanmc.org, and its seven member colleges and universities.
In the U.S., those institutions are: Bastyr University, in Seattle and San Diego; National University of Natural Medicine, in Portland, OR; National University of Health Sciences, Chicago, IL; Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences, in Phoenix, AZ; University of Bridgeport, in Bridgeport, CT.
In Canada, they are: The Boucher Institute, in Vancouver, British Columbia; and Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, in Toronto, Ontario.
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About AANMC: Since it was established in 2001, the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges (www.aanmc.org) has supported its seven member schools and colleges in various ways, including:
- Promoting and growing the naturopathic medical profession
- Improving the quality of education, operations, research and patient care at member schools
- Building visibility for each of its member schools
- Encouraging collaboration between member schools and organizations with compatible interests to accomplish mutual goals