Naturopathic Medicine in Oregon

Page last updated 19 Dec 2019

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Legislative Updates

Senate Bill 217 and House Bill 2390 FAILED with no carryover to 2018. Would have allowed naturopaths to clear student athletes to return to sports after suffering a concussive head injury.

But, Senate Bill 856 was signed into law by Governor in 2017. This bill removed the authority to return athletes to play in sports. Bills adds naturopathic physicians to various protections afforded to medical doctors (MD) and doctors of osteopathy (DO). Jann Bellamy writes that this bill appears to be an attempt to mainstream naturopaths into the health care system by allowing naturopaths to perform certain procedures that physicians are allowed to perform. These include providing emergency medical services, using a defibrillator, providing mental health services, birth control counseling, and more.Information courtesy of Society for Science-Based Medicine.

Senate Bill 23 FAILED with no carryover to 2018. This was a practice expansion bill that would have changed the definition of minor surgery and allowed naturopaths to surgically repair superficial lacerations and remove superficial foreign bodies.

Senate Bill 22 FAILED with no carryover to 2018. This bill would have repealed the establishment of a peer review committee, which evaluates complaints against licensed naturopaths.

Want to get involved?

Contact your Oregon Senate and Assembly representatives and voice your opposition to legitimizing the practice of naturopathy.

Not sure what to say? Last year, in response to a law similar to SB 217 and HB 2390, Dr. Mark Crislip outlined how naturopaths are not qualified to provide such medical services. Also, check out these tips for speaking with lawmakers from the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Sign the petition Naturopaths are not doctors: stop legitimizing pseudoscience

Media Coverage

Chiropractors, naturopaths, concussions, and Senate Bill 1535. Society for Science-Based Medicine. 2016. Mark Crislip.

Naturopathic Medical Medicine in the NW. Science-Based Medicine. 2015. Mark Crislip.

Oregon Naturopaths v. Evidence-Based Medicine. Science-Based Medicine. 2012. Jann Bellamy.

Scope of practice

The Oregon naturopathic scope of practice is one of the most encompassing naturopathic laws in the country. Naturopaths may advertise themselves as primary care physicians, prescribe drugs and controlled substances (excluding marijuana), practice natural childbirth, and sign birth and death certificates.

Title: May use the titles “doctor,” “doctor of naturopathic medicine,” and “naturopathic physician”

Prescription drugs: May prescribe legend substances listed in naturopathic formulary

Controlled substances: May prescribe controlled substances within schedules II, IIN, III, IIIN, IV, and V that are specified in the naturopathic formulary

IV administration: May administer IV substances

Diagnostic tests: May perform, order and interpret diagnostic tests

Minor office procedures: Permitted

Spinal manipulations: May not perform chiropractic adjustments. Naturopathic manipulations and physical medicine are not defined.

Childbirth/ midwifery: May deliver babies after obtaining a certificate of special competency in natural childbirth.

  • Requirements for certification are found here and includes 200 hours of course work in obstetrics and attending 50 births

Vaccine waiver: Not defined

Naturopathic assistants: Not defined

Oregon naturopathic laws and rules 2015

Continuing education requirements

Naturopaths are required to complete 50 hours of continuing education annually. Ten of these hours must be in pharmacology. (CE requirements are updated here.) A natural childbirth certificate requires 15 hours in obstetrics annually. As of 2010, naturopaths with active licenses are required to complete two hours in medical ethics annually. A one-time mandatory pain management education course is required within 24 months of the naturopath’s initial license renewal.


Naturopaths have been licensed in Oregon since 1927. According to NaturoWatch, they were able to practice prior to 1927 under an exemption in the Osteopathic Practice Act.

How to file a complaint

Naturopaths in the state are regulated by the Board of Naturopathic Medicine. Anyone may file a complaint.

Download complaint form

Send completed forms to

Oregon Board of Naturopathic Medicine
Attn: Executive Director
800 NE Oregon Street, Suite407
Portland OR 97232
Or fax to 971-673-0226 (Mark as Confidential)