Naturopathic Medicine in Massachusetts

Page last updated 11 February 2017.

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Media Coverage

Naturopaths get their own licensing board in Massachusetts. 2017. Boston Globe. Felice J. Freyer.

Oh no, not again! Massachusetts Legislature passes naturopathic licensing bill. 2017. Science-Based Medicine. Jann Bellamy.

Massachusetts Should Reject Naturopaths: Letter to Gov. Charlie Baker. 2017. Naturopathic Diaries. Britt Hermes.

Massachusetts passes legislation licensing naturopathic quackery. Only the governor can stop it now. 2017. Respectful Insolence. Orac.

Naturopathic “doctors” in Massachusetts. Naturopathic Diaries. 2015. Taylor Hermes.


Scope of practice

Title: Can use the title “doctor”

  • Prohibited from using title “physician”
  • Not licensed as a primary care doctor
  • Naturopaths must track and document the immunization status of patients; required to  refer patients to a primary care practitioner when the patient has not been fully immunized

Prescription drugs: Prohibited from prescribing legend substances.

Controlled substances: Prohibited from prescribing controlled substances.

IV administration: Not permitted. May not perform any invasive procedures.

Diagnostic tests: May conduct non-invasive exams and order diagnostic tests

Minor office procedures: Not permitted.

Spinal manipulations: Permitted.

Childbirth/ midwifery: Not permitted.

Vaccine waiver: Not permitted.

Naturopathic assistants: Not defined.

S 2335 licensing naturopaths


Continuing education requirements

Continuing education requirements will be set by the naturopathic regulatory board.


History

Naturopaths became the 19th state (22nd U.S. territory) to license naturopaths with the passing of licensing bill S.2335 in the final minutes of the 2016 legislative session. The bill was signed into law in January 2017 and goes into effect September 2017. Naturopathic licensing in Massachusetts was a decades long process for naturopaths in the state.


How to file a complaint

The passing of S 2335 specifies the formation of a five-member naturopathic regulatory board made-up of two naturopaths, one physician, one clinical pharmacist, and a public member.

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