Education & Training
To work as a naturopathic physician, you typically need to:
- have a high school diploma or GED;
- have a bachelor's degree; and
- graduate from a naturopathic medical school.
Education after high school
Naturopathic schools take about four years and grant a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND) degree. Be sure to look for an accredited program if you want to become a licensed naturopathic physician.
In a naturopathic program, you study anatomy and physiology, microbiology, biochemistry, and public health. You also learn how to take a medical history, examine patients, and make a diagnosis.
Before entering naturopathic school, most students earn a bachelor's degree. A pre-medicine or science major is recommended. If you earn a liberal arts degree, be sure to take required courses in physics, biology, and chemistry.
While in naturopathic medical school, you spend much of the last two years working in a clinical setting. Clinical work emphasizes diagnosing and treating patients with natural remedies and practices.
Related Programs (Current training programs available)
- Traditional Chinese Medicine and Chinese Herbology.
- Naturopathic Medicine/Naturopathy (ND)
- Homeopathic Medicine/Homeopathy.
- Ayurvedic Medicine/Ayurveda
- Holistic Health.
- Alternative & Complementary Medicine & Medical Systems, Other
- Polarity Therapy
Fields of Study (What to study to prepare for this career)
Click on any of the Fields of Study listed below to find out more about preparing for this career.
Helpful High School Courses
In high school, take classes that prepare you for college. A college preparatory curriculum may be different from your state's graduation requirements. You need a very strong background in math and science to become a doctor. Take as many math and science courses as you can.
You should also consider taking some advanced courses in high school. This includes Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses if they are available in your school. If you do well in these courses, you may receive college credit for them. Advanced courses can also strengthen your college application.
Helpful electives to take in high school that prepare you for this occupation include:
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Child Development
- Computer Applications
- Food and Nutrition
- Foreign Language
- Introduction to Health Care
- Safety and First Aid
Many naturopathic physicians are self-employed. If you want to run your own business some day, you should consider taking these courses as well:
- Introduction to Business
The courses listed above are meant to help you create your high school plan. If you have not already done so, talk to a school counselor or parent about the courses you are considering taking.
You should also check with a teacher or counselor to see if work-based learning opportunities are available in your school and community. These might include field trips, job shadowing, internships, and actual work experience. The goal of these activities is to help you connect your school experiences with real-life work.
Join some groups, try some hobbies, or volunteer with an organization that interests you. By participating in activities you can have fun, make new friends, and learn about yourself. Maybe one of them will help direct you to a future career.
Source: Minnesota Department of Education.