Naturopathic doctors (NDs) are different from typical MDs. Many people are unaware of naturopathic physicians, mainly because most "normal" doctors follow the allopathic model. In fact, the chances are that unless you seek a naturopath, you aren't likely to find one. There are several reasons a naturopathic doctor might be preferable to a standard MD. Here are five reasons you should choose a naturopathic physician.
1. Patient Interaction
A typical meeting with your local MD usually doesn't last longer than 20 minutes. During this brief interaction, based on a few clinical observations as well as some lab and symptom diagnosis, your doctor will try and form an understanding of your ailment. NDs, on the other hand, typically have consultations that last up to two hours, with follow-ups that go on for about 30 minutes. NDs want to know everything about you to make a more thorough diagnosis.
2. Rigor of Education
Many people are concerned that NDs don't receive the same rigorous training as traditional MDs. To become a registered ND, however, you must complete a four-year postgraduate program, pass a registration exam, and (in many cases) complete a residency. The only difference regarding education is the focus. Notably, NDs take many of the same courses as MDs, with additional focus on a range of natural therapies.
3. Bigger 'Health Arsenal'
MDs are limited in the number of treatments they have available to cure certain ailments, and all are likely within the confines of Western medicine. NDs can call upon herb-based therapies, acupuncture, aromatherapy, Chinese medicine, and homeopathy, among others. Moreover, NDs in some areas can also prescribe drugs if necessary, so they have more choices of treatment than standard MDs.
4. Cheaper Costs
Naturopathic doctors will usually implement dietary changes, natural remedies and certain types of exercise to correct your problem first. These treatments are usually significantly cheaper than prescriptions. In addition to simply treating a symptom, prescriptions can also have harmful side-effects, which may then require additional drugs to remedy. The irony, of course, is that these new drugs will also have side effects, wrecking havoc on your health, and your wallet. Consider the option of an ND treatment plan before going the traditional MD route.
5. Strong Focus on Prevention
Naturopathic doctors firmly believe in the philosophy that prevention is the key to living a long and healthy life. MDs typically only focus on dealing with symptoms rather than treating the likely host of your maladies. In this respect, NDs are more interested in the underlying cause of the problem. NDs believe that a vast majority of medical problems are a direct result of hormonal imbalances and poor nutrition. An ND will help you create and implement lifestyle changes that enhance your life, treat the root cause of the problem, and prevent the problem from recurring.
NDs often get negative press if any. However, most ailments can be treated by an ND at a far better cost, with greater lasting effects. So, before you run off to the MD, give your local ND a shot. You might be surprised by the outcome.