What is the Difference Between a Naturopathic Doctor, and a Naturopathic Physician?
In short, ND stands for Naturopathic Doctor. However there are some vast differences in how this term is used and it is important to know the differences, both for the professional using it, and for the client who is seeking to work with an ND.
There are basically two types of Naturopathic Doctors. 1) is a Naturopathic Physician - sometimes also referred to as NMD, natural medicine doctor, a licensed Physician 2) is a Traditional Naturopath - a complementary and alternative health professional who is teacher/educator of ONLY natural and complementary and alternative health. Most often NOT licensed ( but not always).
Laws governing the differences of these two titles are determined at a state level. Depending on the state that one lives in, one or both of these types of practitioners are legally allowed to use the professional designation of ND and the title Doctor, but they can mean vastly different things. Doctor is an academic title that originates from the Latin word of the same spelling and meaning. The word is originally an agentive noun of the Latin verb docēre 'to teach'.
An ND or NMD used by a Naturopathic Physician will most likely be (not always depending on their certification)a licensed medical professional. This sector of ND's who are LICENSED Medical Physicians have the ablility to prescribe medications along with natural supplements and to diagnose medical conditions, order traditional medical labs, perform some, if not many surgeries, order x-rays etc.
An ND who is a Traditional Nautropath may or may not be licensed, and may only be certified. They employ ONLY natural, alternative, or complimentary healing modalities. They NEVER prescribe medicine, make medicial diganosis or preform medical procedures in any manner.
Liscening vs certification requirements of the two different types of Naturopathic Doctors are determined at a state level so you'd need to ask the ND you are working with about their type of practice, or ask your state board or the ANMA or the certifying board ANMCB about regulations in your state for more specifics. I have been assured by the state in which I live that I am within all legal rights to use the title Doctor but have recently decided against it to protect myself legally as well as to clear up any confusion about anyone who comes to see me in my office, but I share this breif explanation here because I want everyone working with me to understand the distinctions of working with me.
If you are working with me, I want you to know that I am a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner, a Certified Traditional Naturopath, as well as a Quantum Energy Practitioner. I am NOT a licensed medical provider.. Most of all I see my job as one of doctor as teacher/educator. I am here to educate and teach you about the original design of your body and its ability to bring itself in to balance to achieve optimal health. I practice ONLY traditional naturopathy, meaning holistic, natural, alternative or complementary health modalities. I never prescribe medications nor do I diagnose medical conditions. When I give supplement recommendations they are recommendations only and you should follow the directions on the label. I work to support the basic foundations of the body to give the body what it needs to function at its optimal according to its original intent and design. My primary modalites are within the realm of complimentary and alternative health and most often in the field of quantum energy to identify energetic imbalances and to discover what the body needs to restore energetic balance. My biggest goal is education so that the client is empowered to be responsible for their own health journey.
I prefer to be called just Angela for the most part and I want you to understand the distinction very clearly about who I am and what I do when you choose to work with me. I make no medical claims on my website or when working with clients. I will refer you to your medical doctor when I know I am outside my scope of practice. If you are a client working with me, you should always feel free to seek guidance from your licensed medical practitioner for any questions you have about prescription medications, emergency medical needs and any medical diagnosis you have.