The philosophy of naturopathic medicine is centered around honoring and working with the innate healing power of nature, the Vis Medicatrix Naturae. The objective of a system of medicine centered around the Vis is to remove obstacles and optimize the capacity for healing inherent in all living things. The role of the naturopathic doctor is to identify root causes of dis-ease, educate the patient, and use holistic approaches to support healing.
Principles of naturopathic medicine
- Healing power of nature
- Identify and treat the cause
- First do no harm
- Doctor as teacher
- Treat the whole person
Naturopathic doctors are trained as general practitioners with a specialty in natural medicine. The educational requirements for the naturopathic medical profession are an undergraduate degree with pre-med prerequisites, followed by a four-year, post-graduate program at a residential, nationally-accredited naturopathic medical school. Admission criteria and naturopathic curriculum are overseen by the Council of Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME). The naturopathic program of study is similar to conventional medical school in the rigorous basic science coursework and clinical diagnostic training. In addition to training in pharmacology and conventional standard of care for treatment, naturopathic medical programs cover a range of integrative modalities including nutrition and botanical medicine. Currently there are five fully accredited naturopathic medical schools in the United States, members of the American Association of Naturopathic Medical Colleges (AANMC). Graduates of nationally-accredited naturopathic programs are eligible to sit for licensing exams as regulated by the North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners (NABNE). Licensure to practice naturopathic medicine is regulated at the state level. Michigan does not currently have a licensure law for naturopathic medicine, though legislation has been introduced and the Michigan Association of Naturopathic Physicians is actively working toward licensing. Because Michigan does not currently license naturopathic doctors, Dr. Quinn’s practice is consultative and does not constitute primary care or qualify for insurance reimbursement. Dr. Quinn maintains a license in the state of Vermont.