Differences between a Naturopathic Physician (NMD/ND), Naturopathic Practitioner, and Medical Doctor (MD)

The differences between a Naturopathic Physician (NMD/ND), Naturopathic Practitioner, and Medical Doctor (MD)

by Dr. Nicole Cain, ND, MA

Lots of folks have been asking us what a Naturopathic Physician (NMD/ND) is, and we wanted to share with you a few differences between a Naturopathic Physician (Doctor in Michigan) (NMD/ND), Naturopathic Practitioner, and Medical Doctor (MD)!

Naturopathic doctors are NOT the same as naturopaths, which is confusing because the names are the same.

In fact a Naturopathic Doctor’s (NMD/ND) curriculum is more similar to that of a Medical Doctor (MD), than a naturopathic practitioner.

Here are 6 things that make licensed Naturopathic Physicians (doctors in Michigan) different from naturopathic practitioners:

1. Naturopathic Doctors are graduates of accredited, four-year naturopathic medical colleges (there are only 6 of these colleges in the United States, none of which are in Michigan)
2. They are licensed or regulated by states
3. They must pass rigorous professional board exams
4. They can order diagnostic tests prescribe prescription drugs and hormones, and perform minor surgery, acupuncture, and do IV’s.
5. They must carry malpractice insurance
6. They must maintain a commitment to lifelong learning through continuing education (CEUs or CMEs)*
7. They complete over 1330 hours of clinical training, traditional naturopaths receive no clinical training (clinical training is akin to MD’s going to grand rounds and doing a residency with patients).
8. This extensive medical and clinical education is absolutely necessary for public safety. If a clinician is not medically trained, but they are recommending things for you to put into your body, they really have no idea if it could hurt you. Eg: You are on warfarin for your heart disease, and your clinician recommends turmeric. This might seem like a good idea, but a clinician who has not gone to medical school might not have learned that turmeric is a blood thinner and will interact with your warfarin and put you at extremely high risk for hemorrhage/bleed.

Here are 4 key things that make licensed Naturopathic Physicians (doctors in Michigan) different from MD’s:

1) Years 1 and 2 of medical school are very similar between ND’s and MD’s, though often ND’s often have a heavier load (see reference).
2) MD’s are required a minimum of 1,200 hours of clinical training, Naturopathic Physicians (NMD’s) are required at least 1,330 hours of clinical training.
3) Years 3 and 4 NMD’s receive extensive training in all of the alternative modalities (that the MD’s do not get) while continuing to complete the same basic coursework done in these years in MD programs.
4) NMD’s focus on prevention, identifying the root cause, and many avoid using prescription medications when there are alternative methods to improve health and decrease the need for medications.
Resources:
*Continuing Education Units or Continuing Medical Education*
Naturopathic Physicians are referred to as “Doctors” in the State of Michigan (as of April 2018) as they have a 4-year doctorate degree from an accredited college, but Michigan has not yet passed legislation allowing Naturopathic Doctors, physician’s rights.

A Naturopathic Medicine Overview

A Naturopathic Medicine Overview

We want to offer a brief overview of what Naturopathic Medicine is all about, why it is a vital integrative approach, and how to describe it to your friends and family asking, “What are you doing that’s making such a difference?” 

Naturopathic medicine is a system of primary care healthcare thats foundation lies in natural, effective and safe therapies for prevention and treatment. With these therapies Naturopathic Physicians utilize the body’s self-healing capabilities. That’s right, your own body can heal itself when put in an optimal environment to do its own thing, a little principle we Naturopathic physicians like to call, “Vix Maticatrix Naturae,” or The Healing Power of Nature. In our extensive medical training, we acknowledge this innate ability of the body and we strive to enhance it within you, our patients.

Licensed Naturopathic Doctors (ND’s) combine modern science and western medicine with the traditional healing methods of traditional Chinese medicine, homeopathy, acupuncture and botanicals to treat the person sitting right in front of us, not just the symptoms. In fact, ND’s approach towards healing is a bottom up view, rather than top down, showing that getting to the root cause of your concerns will create a ripple effect and lead to the elimination of your symptoms. When we go after the symptoms alone, without really addressing the underlying reason they are present, we often won’t have lasting results. Our symptoms are clues about what is going on at a deeper level. If we pacify them, (say an anti-cough medicine for a cough), we are only suppressing disease and simply hoping for the best. You deserve true healing and restoration, not a band aid.  

But what does that mean, exactly? Well, as ND’s pride themselves on individualized care, it differs for each patient case. However, we have a system that directs the treatment to provide the most benefit with the least risk called the Therapeutic Order. This was developed by Drs. Jared Zeff, Pamela Snider, and Stephen Myers to assists ND’s in unearthing the root causes of illness, develop foundations for health and create lasting healing.

       the therapeutic order of Naturopathic Medicine

  1. Remove Obstacles to Health
  2. Stimulate the Vis
  3. Strengthen Weakened Systems
  4. Correct Structural Integrity
  5. Use Natural Substances to Restore and Regenerate
  6. Use Pharmacologic Substances to Halt Progressive Pathology
  7. Use High Force, Invasive Modalities: Surgery, Radiation, Chemotherapy

naturopathic medicine pyramid

So, what guides Naturopathic Medicine and all of its students, educators, researchers and licensed physicians to uphold the prestigious honor of being a crucial medical profession? The six (sometimes 7) Principles of Naturopathic Medicine. These are echoed at every graduation of the 7 Accredited Naturopathic Programs Across 8 North American Campuses.

  1.     Vis Medicatrix Naturae – The Healing Power of Nature
  2.     Tolle Causam – Identify and Treat The Cause
  3.     Primum No Nocere – First, Do No Harm
  4.     In Perturbato Animo Sicut In Corpore Sanitas Esse Non Potest – Treat The Whole Person
  5.     Docere – Physician as Teacher
  6.     Principiis Obsta: Sero Medicina Curatur – Prevention
  7.     BONUS : Physician Heal Thyself – We recognize that we cannot help facilitate your healing process if we do not first heal within ourselves.

Now, when you come in to see our Naturopathic Physicians at Health For Life, you will have a better understanding of what to expect and why they take more than the standard amount of time to get to know you. With the confidence of knowing what we do and how we do it, you can trust you will find successful healing with us.

Dr. Nicole Cain, ND MA who practices in Grand Rapids, MI and also several months of the year in Scottsdale, AZ as well.

 

Grand Opening Sept 21st 2017!

Health for Life Grand Rapids Celebrates Their Grand Opening

Integrative Counseling Office Hosts Open House

Grand Rapids, MI: Health for Life Grand Rapids, an integrative mental health facility, will host an open house to celebrate their grand opening. This event will take place on Thursday, September 21st, 5:30-7:30pm EST, at Health for Life Grand Rapids. 781 Kenmoor Ave SE, Suite C, Grand Rapids, MI 49546.

Enter your name and email address when you arrive and you will be entered to win one of many raffle items! Items include Norwex products, salon gift cards, a Naturopathic First Aid Kit, and many more. There will be snacks and refreshments for all who stop by.

Dr. Nicole Cain, ND MA

Dr. Nicole Cain, ND MA is a licensed Naturopathic physician (AZ), who strives to find the root cause of illnesses of all kinds. Dr. Cain is known for helping people suffering from mental and emotional concerns–yet she treats the entire person. Dr. Cain treats patients all over the United States and internationally.

“We believe in long-term solutions. We want our clients to come out of their experience with us as changed people, who can go back into their community and bring their healthy new perspective and the tools to share with their loved ones.”

Dr. Nicole Cain, ND MA resides in Grand Rapids, but still practices part-time in Scottsdale, AZ as she is a licensed physician in the state of Arizona. Michigan has not yet passed legislation for Dr. Cain to practice as a physician in Michigan, but she is able to provide health education for people based on her years of medical practice in Arizona. Paul Krauss is a clinical supervisor as well and has supervised and trained clinicians for 7 years and has been practicing as a counselor for 10 years. Learn more here: www.drnicolecain.com

Ashley

Ashley is our wonderful office manager. Ashley will make sure that your experience at Health for Life Grand Rapids begins with a smile. She is eager to answer all of your questions and ensure that you get the information you need. Do not hesitate to call if you have questions or concerns and Ashley will help find the answer for you 616-200-4433.

Paul Krauss, MA, LPC

Paul Krauss is the co-founder of Health For Life Grand Rapids. Paul has his own podcast, he has over 10 years of experience and has consulted for several major behavioral health agencies. He is an expert in trauma, anxiety, depression, helping the parents of struggling young adults. In addition, Paul is a business consultant, and is extremely passionate about providing expert mental health care to the West Michigan area. If you are suffering from trauma, PTSD, anxiety, depression, anger, relationship issues or if you want to be more successful in your job, call Paul Krauss for a complimentary meet and greet today. To learn more about Paul, click here: https://www.healthforlifegr.com/experts/paul-krauss/

Nicole Vega, LMSW, CHC

Nicole is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified Health Coach. She is an expert at working with women and is passionate about helping new moms who are struggling with depression, anxiety postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety and more. Nicole is an excellent counselor with women of all ages, including teenagers! If you are a single woman, a new mom, seasoned mom, or if you are a woman suffering from depression, anxiety, or if you want to become a greater expert in living your own best life, call Nicole today! To learn more about Nicole, click here: https://www.healthforlifegr.com/experts/nicole-vega/

Billie Walters, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Billie has advanced training in Mindfulness & Self-Compassion. She brings her advanced skills and healing presence to each therapy session. Her passion and calming personality will help you feel balanced, inspired, and empowered. Billie has solutions for almost every situation. She is an expert at helping people with  anxiety, depression, stress reduction/ management, anger management, and she will work with you and your family. If you you’d like to work with a highly skilled, warm, and compassionate clinician, call Billy today to set up your first consultation! To learn more about Billie, read here: https://www.healthforlifegr.com/experts/billie-walters/

Adam Nash, MA, LLPC

Adam is a leader in the field working with helping teens, young adults and parents thrive. He has over a decade of experience working with teens/young adults not only as a mentor, but as an outpatient counselor and inpatient clinician. Adam has the experience, wisdom, knowledge, and skills to –whether you are a teenager, young adult, or the parent of one. If you are a parent of a struggling teen or young adult, or if you are ready to conquer your symptoms and to achieve your goals of wellness, definitely give Adam a call today! To learn more about Adam, read here: https://www.healthforlifegr.com/experts/adam-nash

Jennifer Belmonte , LMSW, CHC

Jennifer is an excellent therapist and certified health coach. Jennifer Belmonte provides therapy to children, adolescents, and adults in the Grand Rapids, MI area. Jennifer specializes in the following areas: Emotional Neglect, Difficulties with food and healthy lifestyle, Children & adolescents, Help with emotional regulation and symptoms of depression and anxiety, Faith-based counseling, Health Coaching, and Women’s Issues read more here: https://www.healthforlifegr.com/experts/jennifer-belmonte/

Stacey Prefontaine, Clinical Medical Hypnotherapist

Stacey is a wonderful Hypnotherapist. Stacey is passionate about helping people improve their lives and manage their stressors through the power of hypnotherapy.  She helps people heal from trauma and other issues both mentally and physically.
“Through my practice as a hypnotherapist, I have been able to help clients improve self awareness and intuition, become confident in challenging relationships and situations, put an end to unhealthy habits, reduce and manage pain, improve sleep quality, and gain confidence.” Learn more here: 
https://www.healthforlifegr.com/experts/stacey-prefontaine-hypnotherapy/