How to Become a Naturopathic Doctor

Three Parts:Pursue Your Pre-Med EducationGet Your Medical DegreeStart Your Practice

A doctor of naturopathy combines elements of traditional medical (allopathic) practice with alternative diagnostic and healing techniques such as acupuncture. Naturopathy treats symptoms from headache to menopausal conditions to digestive disorders. Become a naturopathic doctor in much the same way as you would pursue a conventional medical degree.

Part 1
Pursue Your Pre-Med Education

  1. 1
    Attend an accredited 4-year university that offers a pre-medical track in biology, chemistry or psychology and confers a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree. Most graduate schools will require a 2.5 grade point average.
  2. 2
    Add to bachelor of arts training by taking additional science courses that satisfy prerequisites at the naturopathic colleges. You can enter medical school without having to earn a full B.S. degree.

Part 2
Get Your Medical Degree

  1. 1
    Find out what naturopathic practice entails. Talk to licensed physicians. Schedule an office visit for a health check and see for yourself what the doctor-patient relationship is all about. Learn more about deciding to become a naturopath at (see Resources below).
  2. 2
    Research colleges of naturopathic medicine. Expect a rigorous 4-year graduate program. The first 2 years focus on basic health sciences such as anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, botany and developmental psychology. The remainder of the program offers more specialized study of natural medicine, including nutrition and homeopathy, as well as practical internships.
  3. 3
    Consider a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) degree. If you are serious about your career , it's a good idea to work towards a Naturopathic Doctor degree. This is on par with a Medical Degree and shows a serious level of commitment. While the ND degree encompasses more than just homeopathy, you can choose homeopathy as your specialty.

Part 3
Start Your Practice

  1. 1
    Get your license. If required, take the steps necessary to get a homeopathy license for your area.
  2. 2
    Join local and national naturopathy associations. Once you have the necessary degrees and licenses to be able to practice homeopathy, you should join professional organizations. This allows you to learn about the latest information in the field and network with other providers. Additionally, patients may feel more comfortable working with a homeopathic doctor that is a member of naturopathy associations.
  3. 3
    Start your practice. You must find a space to start practicing. It may be possible to join with a group of doctors that is already practicing. This can help you get started because you can get overflow patients. If this is not a possibility, you must open your own practice and advertise for customers.


  • You'll find accredited graduate schools of naturopathy in Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Connecticut and in British Columbia and Ontario, Canada, ONLY. Tuition is expensive, similar to regular medical programs.
  • If you want to become a doctor and practice in the U.S., you will likely end up working in one of the 15 states that license naturopathic doctors: Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Maine, New Hampshire, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Washington or Washington, D.C.


  • Some types of symptoms that should be immediately addressed with an M.D. consultation or emergency room visit include excessive bleeding, difficulty breathing or sudden loss of consciousness.
  • An online or distance learning program is not recommended by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education as preparation for health care practice.
  • A degree from a non-accredited college will not qualify you to practice as a primary care provider.
  • Before you start any alternative medical technique, be aware that many have not been scientifically evaluated. Often, only limited information is available about their safety and effectiveness. Each state and each discipline has its own rules about how alternative medicine practitioners can be professionally licensed. If you decide to visit one, choose one licensed by a recognized national organization. Consult your primary health care provider about your decision first. Keep your doctor informed about the alternative medical technique you undertake.

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