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Naturopathic doctor registration (new law)

Published (5/30/2008)
By Patty Ostberg
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Naturopathic practitioners with degrees from accredited medical programs recognized by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education will be able to call themselves naturopathic doctors, under a new law.

Sponsored by Rep. Neva Walker (DFL-Mpls) and Sen. Patricia Torres Ray (DFL-Mpls), the law will allow about 25 individuals to register themselves as a registered naturopathic doctor, naturopathic doctor or doctor of naturopathic medicine. Only those practitioners with the medical degrees can use the titles and could display them in their place of practice.

The law will create a Registered Naturopathic Doctor Advisory Council to oversee standards for registered doctors, distribute information regarding the standards, review applications, recommend granting or denying registrations and investigate complaints.

“There’s many individuals that think that the only practice of medicine should be in the medical community and scientific based without acceptance of what is going on in other countries,” said Walker, adding there is a difference between a person who has gone to medical school and one educated through experience. Registering those individuals in the state could bridge the gap between western medicine and the alternative healing community, she said.

A naturopathy work group will be established to develop recommendations on regulating naturopathic practitioners who are practicing as naturopathic medical doctors or physicians and have postgraduate degrees in naturopathic medicine.

The law defines the registration requirements and states that individuals without naturopathic medical degrees are able to continue practicing without use of the three titles.

The law has various effective dates.


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