Frequently Asked Questions
- Does naturopathic medicine work?
- How are naturopathic physicians educated?
- Are naturopathic physicians licensed?
- Are naturopathic physicians covered by my health insurance?
- What is the scope of practice of naturopathic physicians?
- Do naturopathic physicians use prescription drugs?
There are countless studies that demonstrate the efficacy of natural therapies. The Journal of Naturopathic Medicine, Alternative Medicine Review, and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition are some of the many journals devoted to reporting scientific studies done on herbal medicines and vitamin/mineral therapy. All told, over 40 scientific journals worldwide are devoted to reporting current research in clinical nutrition.
Moreover, the Textbook of Natural Medicine cites over 5000 references from the conventional biomedical literature that support naturopathic theory and practice. Bastyr University, a nationally accredited naturopathic medical school, is a leading research center for natural medicine in North America. It is the recipient of a multi-million research grant from the National Institute of Health to study the effectiveness of natural therapies in the treatment of HIV/AIDS.
Naturopathic physicians complete premedical undergraduate training and attend a four-year post-graduate naturopathic medical school. They are educated in the conventional medical sciences such as anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, and the signs and symptoms of disease. Naturopathic physicians, however, also receive extensive clinical training in nutrition, botanical medicine, physical medicine, lifestyle counseling, and homeopathy. They also complete supervised clinical internships using these therapies. Naturopaths are essentially specialists in evidence based natural medicine, and are uniquely qualified to bridge the gap between conventional and alternative medicine.
In Vermont, naturopathic doctors are licensed as primary care physicians by the state of Vermont. Only physicians licensed by the state may call themselves naturopaths, naturopathic physicians, naturopathic doctors, or use the initials "ND" after their name. In order to be licensed by the state of Vermont, naturopathic physicians must graduate from an approved naturopathic medical school, pass medical board exams, and fulfill continuing medical education requirements.
Other states and jurisdictions that license naturopathic physicians include Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, California, Arizona, Montana, Oregon, Hawaii, Washington, Utah, Alaska, Idaho, Kansas, District of Columbia, Minnesota, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands.
We now accept most health insurance including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont, Cigna, MVP, Great West/One Health, Vermont Managed Care, Comprehensive Benefits Administrators (CBA), Vermont Medicaid, VHAP, and Dr. Dynasaur. About the only plans we can't accept are Medicare and out-of-state plans.
We are also primary care physicians (PCPs) for most of these plans, which means that you can now get your physicals, annual checkups, and acute care taken care of here. (Cigna, unfortunately, does not allow naturopathic physicians to be listed as PCPs. However, we can still provide you with PCP services if you have Cigna. The only difference is that you will be charged a specialist copay rather than your PCP copay).
In Vermont, naturopathic physicians are licensed to diagnose and treat disease. This includes providing regular checkups, physical exams, gynecological exams, laboratory tests, and imaging tests such as x-rays and ultrasounds. They are also licensed to administer intravenous vitamin and mineral therapy and vaccinations, and to prescribe certain prescription drugs.
In most cases naturopathic doctors will attempt to treat the cause of the disease so that no medication is required or use natural alternatives to these drugs instead. In Vermont, however, naturopathic physicians are licensed to prescribe certain prescription drugs when needed. These include all hormones and vaccines; many antibiotics, anti-fungals, anti-virals and anti-parasitics; and some asthma medications, pain medications and other medications.
Medical Conditions Treated
Most Insurance Accepted
We now accept most health insurance including:
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont
- Comprehensive Benefits Administrators (CBA)
- Dr. Dynasaur
- Great West/One Health
- Green Mountain Care
- Vermont Managed Care
- Vermont Medicaid
- Most other in-state plans except Medicare
(About the only plans we can't accept are Medicare and out-of-state plans.)