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Good discussion. I appreciate the comments from the NDs who state that their first approach is not to prescribe. I think many of us look to naturopathic doctors to help us decide what is the best approach in situations where you might not be sure if a drug, herb, or something else is the what you should do. Despite what the detractors (like TommyKpdx) say, the naturopathic doctors I know tend to be more scientific than many MDs or DOs. This really shouldn't be surprising as, it has been stated, the science training is the same then NDs study the science of nutrition, exercise, herbal medicine, mindbody medicine, etc. It is a commonly held misconception that there is no scientific basis for these things but all you have to do is look at the National Library of Medicine (like PubMed), research these things and you will see there is a treasure trove of science behind much of what NDs do. It is also a huge fallacy that modern medicine is based solely on science. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Many drugs and practices are not validated but because they are done by MDs, have the patina of science and authority.
A big missing piece in this discussion is that naturopathic doctors are expert in nutrition, herbal medicine, lifestyle modification, and prevention which if widely applied, would solve many of our society's help problems. Having NDs available in more healthcare situations is likely to reduce waste, improve prevention, decrease costs, and improve health, all of which are steps in solving our healthcare crisis.
Finally, there is clearly a turf battle for the public opinion. You hear the discussion framed in terms of education, science based vs faith based practice, and residency experience. You can already see that NDs have an incredibly extensive training program. Which philosophy would you rather be guided by? One based on fear and reflexive CYA approach for liability or one based on improving health, hope, and prevention?
posted 3 years, 11 months ago
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