There have been a number of opinion pieces in popular blogs and online news sources lately that speak poorly of naturopathic medicine. In case you’ve seen one of them and wondered what to make of it, I thought I’d weigh in.
These articles pretty much all say something along the lines of: “NDs aren’t real doctors”, “NDs practice woo woo pseudoscience”, and “NDs are hurting people.” While I’ve pretty much stopped reading these types of articles because they all use the same tired, opinion-based, fact-light formula, what I see is really going on here is this:
NDs are gaining traction as a serious force in healthcare. We are licensed to practice medicine in 18 states and counting. We practice safer and more effective medicine for most chronic diseases and it scares the hell out of some in the conventional world who are witnessing the beginning of the end of the conventional way of practicing medicine: i.e. a corrupt, prescription mill bought by pharmaceutical companies whose best offering is managing symptoms, not preventing or healing diseases. A recent study out of Johns Hopkins University medical school reported that, after heart disease and cancer, medical error is the third leading cause of death in this country. People want better, safer healthcare. NDs are taught to understand the limits of our medicine and when to refer, but when treating non-life threatening chronic diseases, what we do is incredibly safe. The cost of our malpractice insurance (much, much less than MDs) reflects this.
To be clear, there are plenty of MDs and DOs who know how much the medical system in this country needs an upgrade, and are changing with the times, or have been quietly practicing similarly to NDs for years. Those are not the people writing these articles.
There is more and more high quality evidence supporting the efficacy of what NDs do, and the body of research will continue to grow. And the biggest reason of all that our numbers are growing and more states are licensing NDs is this: Our patients are so happy to have access to safe, effective, cause-resolution healthcare.
In conclusion, haters will hate, and the best evidence that a movement is taking off is increased fussing from those entrenched in the old way of thinking.
Yours in health,
Dr. Jennea Wood, ND