Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Naturopathic Doctor (ND)
Naturopathic doctors often combine different complementary
therapies—such as massage, herbal medicine, or diet—to help the body heal
itself and stay well. Naturopaths do not prescribe drugs or do surgeries. But they may refer people to a medical doctor or specialist when needed. In
some states, naturopaths have a limited ability to prescribe medicines.
A licensed naturopathic doctor (ND) attends a
graduate-level naturopathic medical school. The ND studies basic sciences along with alternative
approaches to therapy, such as herbal medicine, homeopathy, and bodywork.
Naturopathic doctors typically do not continue with postgraduate training, such
as internships and residency programs.
After completing the naturopathic medical program, an ND is
eligible for a licensing examination in states that have a licensing boards and
standards of practice. NDs are licensed in many states but also practice in
other states with no official government sanction.
Where there are no licensing standards, someone who has little or no
formal education may proclaim himself or herself a naturopathic doctor without having completed medical
school education or board testing.
Current as of:
July 13, 2015
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
I Want To...
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.