Naturopathic Medicine in Pennsylvania

Page last updated 31 Jan 2018.

Action alert

The Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine’s Committees on Allied Health Professionals, Legislation/Professional Liability and Continuous Professional Development have scheduled a meeting to discuss enacting the ND registration bill.

The bill that passed is brief and does not specify a scope of practice for naturopaths in the state. It is therefore essential that the science and skeptic community makes their voices heard. We have the opportunity to shape how naturopaths are allowed to practice in order to protect the public.

If you are in Pennsylvania, please consider attending the meeting.

When: Monday, February 5, 2018. commencing at 3:00 p.m.

Where: Department of State, Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, Penn Center, 2601 N. Third Street, Harrisburg, PA 17106.

Note: There is a parking lot on Third Street, down the stairs from the building; parking is free after 1:00 p.m.

Alternatively, you can submit comments to the board via their counsel.

Counsel contact: Peter Kovach


I think it will be especially powerful to share stories of harm by naturopaths who are regulated in other states and personal experiences with naturopaths who have attended “accredited” ND programs. You may also refer to my legislative handout for specific talking points.

Scope of practice

Naturopaths are registered, not licensed in Pennsylvania under HB 516. This article by Jann Bellamy for Society for Science-Based Medicine nicely describes the differences between naturopathic licensing and registration.

The registration bill does not define the practice of naturopathy or a scope of practice.

The bill does protect the use of the title “naturopathic doctor” for registered naturopaths in the state.

Continuing education requirements

Not defined


In 2016, Pennsylvania passed HB516 to register naturopathic doctors. It becomes effective January 1, 2018.

How to file a complaint

Registered naturopaths in the state are regulated by Pennsylvania’s State Board of Medicine. Anyone can file a complaint. The complaint process can be completed online.