Naturopathic doctors and medical doctors share many similarities, but have a different approach to medical care for patients. While naturopathic doctors, or NDs, are educated in the same biomedical sciences as medical doctors, NDs use holistic and nontoxic approaches to healing, emphasizing disease prevention, nutrition, and wellness. While medical doctors emphasize treating symptoms, NDs focus on treating the root causes of illness and enlisting the body’s self-healing abilities. NDs treat patients of all ages, from pediatrics to geriatrics. As with other doctors, NDs interview patients to document symptoms, review a patient’s medical history and make their diagnosis, recommendation and prescription. Instead of prescription drugs, NDs often use naturally occurring remedies that can be found in foods, herbs, and vitamin supplements. They also use alternative therapeutic regimens such as traditional Indian Ayurvedic- or Chinese medicine, homeopathy, mindfulness training, and biofeedback. To clarify a diagnosis, they may order diagnostic procedures and lab tests from other professionals, and consult with other healthcare professionals as needed. Naturopathic doctors work in private practice, clinics, and in community health centers that offer other alternative medicine practices such as acupuncture, massage, or chiropractic. They attend four-year, graduate-level, naturopathic medical schools where they study anatomy, physiology, biology, chemistry, pathology, diagnosis, and holistic and nontoxic therapies. Currently, state licensure is available in some states, while other states require NDs to practice under another medical degree.
What they do:
Diagnose, treat, and help prevent diseases using a system of practice that is based on the natural healing capacity of individuals. May use physiological, psychological or mechanical methods. May also use natural medicines, prescription or legend drugs, foods, herbs, or other natural remedies.
On the job, you would:
Document patients' histories, including identifying data, chief complaints, illnesses, previous medical or family histories, or psychosocial characteristics.
Educate patients about health care management.
Advise patients about therapeutic exercise and nutritional medicine regimens.
medicine and dentistry
therapy and counseling
Math and Science
Arts and Humanities
reading work related information
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
understanding people's reactions
looking for ways to help people
communicate by speaking
listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
notice when problems happen
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
see hidden patterns
quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things
People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
Concern for Others
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Trigram Software AcuBase Pro
ZYTO LSA Pro
Label making software
doctoral degree usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.