Education & Licensure
Naturopathic Licensure in Virginia
How will Virginians benefit from a license?
- Virginians will have access to naturopathic medicine by qualified N.D.’s.
- Naturopathic doctors will be able to offer more services, the services they are trained to provide: physical exams, (order) laboratory tests, diagnosis (conditions), implement treatment and prevent disease.
- Virginians will be able to easily identify naturopathic doctors with physician level training.
- Public safety will be ensured by requiring N.D.’s to meet rigorous educational standards and to pass national board exams.
- There is a greater likelihood that insurance coverage will be made available for naturopathic care.
- Licensure will promote continuity of care within the entire healthcare field. Specifically, licensure will promote collaboration between all healthcare professionals to ensure the highest quality of care for citizens of Virginia.
What will the licensure bill do?
- Licensure will provide Virginians with safe and effective access by licensed naturopathic doctors. The licensure bill will protect the public by defining educational standards, scope of practice and professional oversight for naturopathic doctors. The bill will clarify the use of the title “Naturopathic Doctor”. It does NOT impact the practice of other providers.
- It will allow naturopathic doctors to provide the services they are trained to provide after completing a four-year, residential doctorate program at a naturopathic medical school.
- The bill will require graduation from a CNME (Council on Naturopathic Medical Education) accredited four-year naturopathic medical school and passing the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Exam (NPLEX).
- Licensure will make it possible for Virginians to know that when they choose to see a naturopathic doctor, they are choosing a professional who meets the federally recognized standards and the requirements set by the state of Virginia.
- The bill will NOT prevent any licensed or unlicensed practitioners from practicing within the scope of their license or training. Licensing N.D.’s will NOT limit access to herbs and supplements. Limited access comes from governmental regulations.
How will licensing N.D.’s improve public safety?
- Licensure ensures that naturopathic doctors have graduated from accredited, four-year, graduate-level naturopathic medical programs, passed board exams and meet continuing educational requirements.
- Naturopathic doctors are trained to understand both natural and conventional therapies, thus assisting other practitioners and the patient in the safe use of natural medicines.
- Naturopathic doctors are trained in differential diagnosis and can make a referral to the appropriate medical specialist for further care when necessary.
- Licensed naturopathic doctors are accountable to a state regulatory agency, ensuring high standards of care and safe practice.