In this health video you will learn about the differences and similarities between naturopathic doctor and naturopath.
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Raena Morgan: What's the difference between a naturopathic doctor and a naturopath? Dr. Todd Ferguson: Well, to clarify this confusing situation here in America, there are sort of two groups that both use the title naturopathic doctor actually. The difference between the two groups is largely education and what they are eligible for in certain states. Both Have something to offer the medical field, both have something to offer people who are ill, but the background and the degree of training is quite different. It's really unfortunate that both groups use the same title because that can be very confusing for the patient. So the difference is this, one camp, which I fall into completed an undergraduate degree, and then completed a four year doctorial naturopathic medical degree and has completed two sets of boards making them eligible and several states to be a licensed physician on part with and MD or a DO. The other camp completes, usually it's an online correspondence degree involving somewhere around 10 classes and you know reading a bunch of books what have you, but it's more of an online correspondence then, which doesn't make them eligible in those states for a licensed physician status. Now it's confusing, because in unlicensed states which there are several, there is no definition and protection of that title naturopathic doctor, which means that you get both types of people in that unlicensed state using the same title. So, it can be really confusing for the person seeking out a naturopathic doctor. Raena Morgan: I would think so. Yes. Dr. Todd Ferguson: Like I said, they both have something to offer, but it's vastly differed what they can offer and it's just unfortunate, but they both use the same title. In fact, in an unlicensed state because the term naturopathic doctor is not protected anyone with any background could claim to be a naturopath. But when you use the title doctor, then that involves some legislative issues; many states defined who can call themselves doctor. The naturopathic doctors trained to procedures like minor office procedures, minor surgery -- Raena Morgan: And prescribed medication too? Dr. Todd Ferguson: Yeah, the naturopathic doctors trained to prescribe medication if need be, its not the first thing we go to, usually there is a hierarchy of treatments and that's more the last thing unless the situation is emergent. Yeah that's definitely part of our training as part of our license in states where we have a license, so in those states where naturopathic doctors are recognized as physicians, they can do minor surgeries that just cutting off moles or to make stitches can prescribe medications and that sort of thing. In many ways act as a primary care family physician and that's what our training trains us to be and that's what we are recognized and can do in licensed states. Raena Morgan: Well, thank you.