Alternative medicine emphasizes a natural approach to health care that takes into consideration the entire patient. Students that want to pursue careers in the medical profession are able to enter schooling in naturopathic medicine. Several areas of study can be completed inside accredited colleges and universities that prepare students for the professional workplace.
Students can pursue education by either completing a doctor or naturopathic degree program or by entering a specific branch of the field. For example, students can enter programs that allow them to become massage therapists. This non-invasive approach to health care teaches students to treat the entire person not just the physical ailments. Essentially, students learn to care for the human body minimizing harm from surgical-based treatments by promoting the body’s own natural healing defenses. This can be conducted in several ways, which allows students to follow their career goals into multiple degree program areas.
Students that want to specifically focus on naturopathy must gain graduate training inside a doctor of naturopathic medicine degree program. Programs focus on providing students with skills in herbal therapy, exercise, preventative health, and nutrition. These areas allow students to diagnose and treat their patients based on their psychological states and symptoms. Professionals use their knowledge to correctly prescribe a treatment plan that may include natural remedies and other forms of alternative medicine. Common courses may include:
Traditional Chinese Medicine
The first two years of schooling are very similar to a traditional medical degree. Students study areas like physiology, anatomy, and microbiology. Electives focus on naturopathic medicine and students study nontoxic therapies like nutrition. The final two years of schooling is the clinical portion where students work with real patients and doctors. Students typically work in a general setting or within their area of interest such as chiropractic care.
Many students continue their education inside a residency program. This is typically a one to two year opportunity after graduation to practice naturopathic medicine in a professional setting. Once education is complete students are able to step directly into careers as naturopathic doctors, massage therapists, acupuncturists, and professors.
If students decide another area of education within naturopathic medicine is for them they have two options. Students can either integrate that schooling into their doctorate degree or enter another degree program. For instance, students that decide they would rather train specifically to become a massage therapist will find that natural healing schooling requirements are considerably less time consuming then a naturopathic degree. Students are able to study massage therapy techniques and enter careers within six months. A great way for students to determine if a doctorate degree is for them is by completing a certificate program. Students receive a broad understanding of the field without having to commit to a full program. Herbology, acupuncture, Eastern medicine, massage therapy, fitness, and studied inside a certificate program.