Reporting on Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic Diaries serves as a resource for journalists covering naturopathy and alternative medicine. The media page provides a bibliography of interviews and appearances.

I am available for questions and interviews via Skype, phone, or email. I am living in Germany, which is in the Central European Time zone. I make every effort to respond to emails as quickly as possible. For urgent deadlines, please note this information in the subject line.

For inquiries, contact [email protected].

Naturopathic licensing is dangerous for patients

The licensing of naturopaths is a legal loophole that allows them to practice medicine without any of the medical training required to be a safe and competent physician. For more on licensing in a specific state of province, visit the Legislative Guide.

State licensure unwittingly legitimizes the practice of naturopathy. It allows naturopaths to call themselves “doctors” or “physicians” and, in some states, licensure permits naturopaths to advertise themselves as primary care providers and can force insurance companies to provide reimbursement naturopathic services. Patients can easily be misled into thinking that naturopaths are licensed to practice under the same stringent criteria as physicians. Naturopaths are trained and licensed in their own self-serving system that eschews external criticism and review.

If patients think naturopaths are the same as physicians, they may elect to receive naturopathic care without realizing the shortcomings of naturopathic training. The stories and articles below highlight how patients can be harmed at the hands of licensed naturopaths.

Read more

Cancer patients are losing valuable time — and risking their lives — with alternative therapies, doctors say. November 2015. National Post. Tom Blackwell.

Canadian physicians criticize naturopaths in wake of Ezekiel Stephan’s death. April 2016. Naturopathic Diaries.

Stories of harm by naturopaths

A toddler dies from meningitis. Naturopathic Diaries.

I was suffering from postpartum depression: my licensed naturopath recommended beer and marijuana to help me sleep. Naturopathic Diaries. Written by a former patient of naturopathy

Confessions of a former naturopathic patient: I am not getting better and it is not my fault. Naturopathic Diaries. Written by a former patient of naturopathy

Food as medicine? Naturopathic Diaries.

More articles on patient harm and naturopathy.

Naturopaths do not attend medical school

The education and training of naturopathic practitioners has consistently been misrepresented by the profession and misreported by the media. Naturopathic training is often described as being on-par with that of medical school. This is not true. Naturopathic courses often have the same course titles as medical school courses, but the content comprises of alternative health information, not medical science.

Naturopaths attend four-year post-graduate naturopathic programs. These programs are accredited by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME), which is predominately composed of naturopaths. The CNME does not participate in external reviews that evaluate the quality of the naturopathic curriculum. Additionally, the North American naturopathic licensing exam is not audited for quality assurance or rigor. In contrast, North American medical schools and licensing examinations are evaluated to ensure physicians-in-training are receiving a rigorous, high quality education that evolves with advances in medicine and research.

The acceptance requirements for naturopathic schools are extremely lax. For example, graduate school entrance exams (GRE) and medical entrance exams (MCAT) are not required. There is usually no required grade-point average (GPA) for acceptance.

Read more

Naturopathic Student’s Guide. Naturopathic Diaries.

Naturopathy: A critical appraisal. 2003. Medscape. Kimball Atwood. (It is worth noting that although this article is 15 years old, the arguments outlined within are still relevant today.)

Naturopathy, Pseudoscience, and Medicine: Myths and Fallacies vs Truth. 2004. Medscape General Medicine. Kimball Atwood.

Education and Training: Family Physicians versus Naturopaths. American Association of Family Physicians.

Why ‘Naturopathic Medicine’ Is An Oxymoron. 2016. American Council on Science and Health. Julianna LeMieux.

Giving naturopaths free medial reign is dangerous. 2013. Huffington Post. Michael Kruse.

Supplement companies fund naturopathic lobbying efforts

The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) has pledged to gain licensure in all 50 states by 2025. This is a lofty goal that requires money. Rebecca Robbins reported last year in STAT news that the supplement industry is supporting naturopathic licensing efforts with 2016 donations totaling more than a quarter of a million dollars. A list of current “corporate partners” can be found on the AANP website.

This financial influence allows supplement manufacturers to advance political legislation that favors their business, and that of naturopaths, at the expense of patients with unproven claims of safety and effectiveness.

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Naturopaths, often derided as quacks, push to go mainstream — with help from vitamin companies. 17 May 2016. STAT news. Rebecca Robbins.

Naturopaths do a terrible job of self-regulation

In several U.S. states and Canadian provinces, naturopaths have been given the responsibility and obligation to ensure the competence of their peers, to identify and take action against naturopaths acting unprofessionally, and to regulate conflicts of interest. Naturopathic regulation boards (called colleges in Canada) and professional organizations have a track record for disregarding guidelines of professionalism and medical standards of care.

Read more

Are we being served by the regulation of naturopaths? Not if patients are still being misled. April 2016. The Globe and Mail. Carly Weeks.

Reality check: New rules for naturopaths fail to ensure safety. June 2015. The Globe and Mail. Carly Weeks.

The wild west: Tales of a naturopathic ethical review board. 13 April 2015. Science-Based Medicine. Britt Hermes.

Is there a naturopathic standard of care? 5 May 2016. Science-Based Medicine. Scott Gavura.

For additional information, please contact me at [email protected].