Twenty days in primary care practice, or “naturopathic residency”

The metastasis of alternative medicine throughout the health care system comes, in no small part, at the hands of the federal and state governments, mostly the latter and most particularly the state legislatures. Under their jurisdiction rests the decision of who can, and cannot, become a licensed health care practitioner, and what they can, and cannot, do. This is the gateway through which much of pseudo-medicine flows.

I’ve read many CAM practitioner licensing statutes (all of the chiropractic practice acts, in fact) and many legislative proposals to license or to expand the scope of practice. Typical of the boilerplate recited in support of this legislation is the education and training of these practitioners, which is touted as a means of protecting the public from charlatans and quacks out there selling snake oil to the credulous. Naturopathic licensing bills routinely require graduation from a naturopathic “medical” school accredited by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education. (See, for example, Michigan House Bill 4152, which both David Gorski and I have discussed on SBM.) Unfortunately, what CAM provider legislation often does is simply provide legal cover for selling that very same snake oil.

Naturopaths are licensed in 17 states so far, although what they can and can’t do varies considerably. In some states, they have a scope of practice similar to that of an M.D. or D.O. primary care physician. At the most liberal end of this spectrum, N.D.s can prescribe drugs (as Michigan’s bill would allow), although this, too, varies depending on what’s listed on the state’s naturopathic formulary.

All of this has led me to conclude that the state legislatures do not have internet connections. Because, if they did, it would be pretty easy to Google around and figure out just what this naturopathic “medical” education entails and how practicing naturopaths apply their education and training in actual practice. In fact, I’ve done this myself and reported the results here on SBM. In the last day or so, I found out even more by looking around the websites of the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education, the American Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Schools, and its member institutions. We’ll get to the fruits of that research in a minute.

A remedy for naturopathy?

As both Mark Crislip and I have opined, naturopathic education and training is insufficient for primary care scope of practice, and, a fortiori, for prescribing real drugs. I never thought I’d see the day when a state legislator realized that, in order to be a primary care physician one ought to have the education and training of a primary care physician. Because, after all, patients (or, at least, naïve patients) aren’t going to divide themselves neatly into two lines based on the seriousness of their condition, one going into the M.D. PCP’s office and one going into the N.D. PCP’s office. The overweight, hypertensive, hepatitis C positive, uncontrolled diabetic with the flu can walk into either office. The M.D. PCP will have seen many such patients before in training. The N.D.? Probably none.

Hawaii Senate Bill 2577 doesn’t solve all of these problems. But it does address an important one. Hawaii is one of the few states granting N.D.s a broad scope of practice, including prescription privileges in accordance with a naturopathic formulary. Sen. Josh Green, chair of the Senate Health Committee, and himself an M.D. who completed a Family Practice Residency and now practices as an Emergency Room Physician, introduced SB 2577. The bill states, quite simply, that:

To qualify for prescription privileges, a naturopathic physician shall fulfill the same education, examination, and training requirements as physicians or osteopathic physicians . . . prior to the prescription, administration, or dispensing of any prescription medication.

As well, the naturopathic board will not be in control of who makes the cut. The Hawaii Department of Community and Consumer Affairs will make that decision.

Naturally, if you will, this bill has caused all sorts of consternation in the Hawaiian naturopathic community. The Senate Health Committee allows written testimony regarding a bill. (You can access the written testimony here.) Most of the testimony against SB 2577 was simply a regurgitation of what the Hawaii Society of Naturopathic Physicians (which, oddly, took down its suggested testimony from the website) wanted people to say, repeated in N.D. handouts to patients, and went something like this:

It would be both unreasonable and redundant to require that naturopathic physicians have licensure as MDs or osteopaths to qualify for prescription privileges. [Actually, that is not what the bill says.] The training of naturopathic physicians is already so extensive as to more than qualify them in this regard. Naturopathic medicine is a unique form of health care with its own rigorous educational, examination, and training requirements, comparable in many ways to the requirements of other types of physicians such as MDs and osteopaths. Naturopathic physicians receive ample training at nationally accredited naturopathic medical schools, including the same basic sciences taught in conventional medical schools, such as standard methods of physical, clinical, and laboratory diagnosis. They are trained in therapies given by injection, and highly qualified to safely prescribe medications. . . By unreasonably restricting naturopathic physicians from practicing according to their training, SB2577 would have many negative consequences on the overall quality of health care in Hawaii. . .

And so forth. Note the many conclusory statements about the quality of naturopathic education and training and the unsupported allegation of negative consequences to health care, consequences that seem not to have materialized in states that don’t allow N.D.s to practice or which don’t allow N.D.s to prescribe drugs. In other words, the vast majority of states.

The anti-bill testimony from naturopathic patients is much more revealing about naturopathic practice than the cut-and-pasted rhetoric. Indeed, one wonders which side might have submitted this testimony, given the alarming anecdotes of naturopathic care. From the patients, we hear of homeopathy prescribed for sick twin infants, a thyroid problem (“adrenal insufficiency”?) undiscovered by an M.D. but found by an N.D. and being treated with compounded drugs (glandulars?), a homeopathic remedy prescribed for a “trigger thumb,” and testimony such as this, from the parent of an autistic child,

It was only the naturopath physician, who advised us to obtain the lab work to discover how truly toxic his blood work was. Following their chelation protocol to remove the mercury, lead, aluminum, etc has lifted the “cloud of heavy metals” that separated Dale from the rest of the world.

And this:

I am a parent of a child with autism, epilepsy and other serious digestive disorders. While I have turned to MDs in the past for his general health and neurological health, no improvements were observed. About a year and half ago, I turned to an ND, referred to her by other parents of autistic children, who introduced me to biomedical treatments for Autism and Epilepsy. Our son just turned 12 years old this past weekend. Thanks to the biomedical treatments and his ND’s guidance and her ability to prescribe pharmaceutical medicine,including folinic acid, amino acid carnitine, and others, our son has been making great strides, improvements which we had not seen in years.

Yes, extensive, rigorous, ample, highly qualified, and all that.

This is not to say there weren’t supporters of the bill. In fact, a large group of other medical care providers, besides physicians, offered support, in the form of favorable testimony from the Healthcare Association of Hawaii, which describes itself as “a 116 member organization that includes all of the acute care hospitals in Hawaii, the majority of long term care facilities, all the Medicare-certified home health agencies, all hospice programs, as well as other healthcare organizations including durable medical equipment, air and ground ambulance, blood bank and respiratory therapy.”

“Rigorous” education and training requirements?

Let’s take a closer look.

The Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges perpetuates the party line that naturopathic doctors receive education and training comparable to that of medical doctors. (I could not find a comparison between medical and naturopathic education on the website of the Association of American Medical Colleges, but it is something I’m sure we’d all like to see.) A handy chart purports to support this view by claiming that, during the first two years, N.D.s earn equivalent credits in the biomedical sciences as M.D.s. Indeed, according to the chart, N.D.s earn even more credits in anatomy, embryology, biochemistry, physiology, pathology, and clinical and “modality” training, twice as many in this latter category. (These “modalities” include homeopathy.) Medical students, on the other hand, have about three times more credits in a category called “other.”

Of course, it hardly bears mentioning that a course name and assigned credit hours say little about the content, quality or rigor of the course. Nevertheless, the Association soldiers on with its comparison, to the point of creatively turning the lack of N.D. residencies into a plus:

[A]lthough MD students see plenty of patients during these clerkships [in the third and fourth year], their roles are primarily observational: they are not primarily responsible for patient care [like naturopathic students]. As a result, naturopathic medical students graduate prepared to begin practice and to diagnose and treat patients, whereas MD students are required to complete residencies after graduation in order to gain clinical experience.

What a bunch of dummies! Medical school graduates need three more years of training to become primary care practitioners, while naturopathic school graduates can waltz out into the world ready to practice from the get-go because they’ve been given primary responsibility for patients even though they haven’t even graduated yet.

Does this education and clinical training — training so wonderful it can substitute for a full three years of a medical residency — qualify N.D.s to prescribe medications?

Well, the chart shows N.D.s have 5 credits in pharmacology versus 8 for M.D.s, that is, a little over 60% of what M.D.s have. The N.D. schools websites, unlike many medical school websites, do not contain much in the way of course descriptions. For example, here is a description of the two pharmacology courses at the National College of Natural Medicine:

presents the principles of pharmacodynamics, including drug absorption, metabolism, distribution, excretion and mechanism of action. Students are expected to classify and describe the pharmacodynamics, side effects and therapeutics of drug prototypes from the contemporary drug classes. Special emphasis is given to drugs contained in Oregon [which includes most drugs used in primary care] and other naturopathic formularies.

That’s it. The website does not say who teaches these courses, although I do not see a single Pharm.D. on the faculty. I also looked at the faculty of Bayster, another naturopathic school. Its faculty has one Pharm.D.

A fair comparison of this curriculum would be that of Florida State University’s College of Medicine, since its mission is to graduate more medical doctors who go into primary care. You can find a syllabus of the first pharmacology course here and the second course here. The listed instructors for these courses are three Ph.D.s, two M.D.s and three Pharm.D.s. I invite your comparison.

Let’s move on to clinical training. The Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME, the accrediting agency for N.D. schools) establishes the number of clinical hours a student must have to graduate. In order to compare this to medical residency training, the approximate equivalent in weeks of residency, at 80 hours per week, is listed in parentheses each requirement. Much of the clinical education of N.D.s takes place in clinics associated with the naturopathic schools. Only training in these clinics counts toward required patient contact hours. The balance of clinical training occurs in preceptor-type relationships with practitioners in the field, in botanical medicines labs, giving talks to the public on the value of naturopathy, and other activities.

CNME requires a total of 1200 clock hours (15 weeks) of clinical training. Of these, only 850 hours (less than 11 weeks) must involve primary or secondary responsibility for patient care. The student must have at least 450 “separately scheduled patient interactions” during this training (including those in preceptorship). In 225 of these patient interactions, the student must be working in “primary capacity in assessment and/or treatment” under faculty supervision. No further definition of “patient interaction” is given, but, by way of comparison, a family practice M.D. will typically see 20-25 patients per day. Making the (likely safe) assumption that each of these constitutes the M.D. acting in a “primary capacity in assessment and/or treatment,” and using an average of 22.5 patients per day, the entirely of N.D. clinical education involving primary responsibility for assessing and treating patients is the equivalent of as little as 10 days of real-world family practice. Even being extremely generous, and counting all 450 “patient interactions,” that’s 20 days in a family practitioner’s office.

But, of course, according to the AANMC, “naturopathic medical students graduate prepared to begin practice and to diagnose and treat patients.”

I looked at these naturopathic school clinics on the websites of AANMC members, which consists of all accredited naturopathic schools in the U.S. and Canada. And here I discovered that there is virtually no mention of treatment with prescription drugs. (Some clinic websites don’t mention prescription drugs at all.) Typically, the clinics offer “natural” therapies, dietary supplements, lifestyle and nutritional modification, acupuncture, hydrotherapy (including colonic irrigation), herbs, homeopathy, physical medicine, “mind/body” treatments, and minor surgery. As an example, from the website of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM):

Homeopathic remedies are particularly effective for depression, anxiety, allergies, infections, gynecological concerns, skin conditions, digestive problems , chronic and acute conditions including colds and flu.

In reviewing all of the clinic websites, mention of prescription drugs was limited to (1) the fact that N.D.s at some clinics have prescription privileges (Boucher); (2) IV vitamin “cocktails” (CCNM oncology clinic); (3) mistletoe injections (ditto); (4) hormone prescriptions (National College of Natural Medicine); (5) antibiotics for parasites or infections as part of “detoxification” therapy (Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine); and (6) injection therapy for pain (neural, trigger point and prolotherapy, also SCNM).

One can’t help but noticing the narrow range of diseases and conditions seen. Typically mentioned are mild, self-limiting conditions, such as colds and back pain, a handful of chronic diseases, and conditions for which there may be few effective options (and are therefore ripe for exploitation), such as autism, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. This is in addition to those conditions simply fabricated by naturopaths, like chronic yeast overgrowth, adrenal fatigue, food “sensitivities,” and “toxins.”

As Mark Crislip (or maybe it was Kimball Atwood) said, “Your results may differ.” Feel free to search on your own. If you wish, you can compare N.D. clinical training to an M.D. primary care (in this case, family practice) residency program. (Click on “Family Medicine Curriculum”)

The fate of Hawaii Senate Bill 2577

After a hearing before the Senate Health Committee on January 27. Voting on the bill was deferred until February 3, then February 5. As this post “goes to press,” the bill passed the Health Committee unanimously, but with amendments (one vote was “with reservations,” and two members were not present). I do not have the text of the amendments yet, but will update the post when it is available.

Whatever happens, we all owe a debt of gratitude to Sen. Josh Green, who had the fortitude to swim against the formidable CAM tide. I don’t know how many people will read this post and agree with it, but if you’re among them, I hope you write Sen. Green an e-mail of gratitude. Flood his inbox with praise! CC: the Senate Health Committee.

Thank you, Senator Green, thank you. And keep up the good work.


The Health Care Committee voted in favor of Senate Bill 2577, as amended by the committee.  Unfortunately, the amendments substantially changed the original bill’s requirements.  As the bill stands now, a naturopath with prescribing privileges must have a “collegial relationship” with a licensed medical doctor or doctor of osteopathy, who will review the naturopath’s prescriptions quarterly and report any concerns to the naturopath and to the naturopathic board. In addition, naturopaths have to maintain a list of all prescriptions and report to the Board monthly what was prescribed.  The Board will report this information to the Legislature annually.

The bill also limits the type of drugs that may be prescribed to 7 categories, thus curbing the naturopathic board’s authority to expand the formulary in the future.  Unfortunately, the list includes non-prescription and prescription vitamins, minerals, nutritional supplements, dietary supplements, botanical medicines, homeopathic “medicines,” and “all biological substances including extracts or their products and residues.” This means naturopaths will be able to administer these substances IV, as injection of dietary supplements, vitamins, and the like, transforms them from off-the-shelf products into drugs under federal law.  The list also includes all hormones except those that are controlled substances. This leaves open the possibility of such nonsensical diagnostics as saliva testing for alleged hormone deficiencies and prescription of hormones to relieve these purported deficiencies.

We can all hope that physician oversight will curb some of the pseudo-science behind naturopathic prescribing practices.  However, “collegial relationship” is defined as “a professional relationship intended to foster cooperation and collaboration in integrative care.”  The physicians who would be willing to oversee naturopaths on these terms might well be the very ones willing to tolerate the incorporation of “alternative medicine” into medicine, thereby simply enabling the naturopaths to employ their evidence-free treatments. Finally, each naturopath who wants prescribing privileges will have to complete 15 hours of continuing medical education in pharmacology annually.  Of course, the quality of these courses is key to their success in moving naturopaths toward evidence-based prescribing, if that is indeed possible. Fifteen hours in, for example, IV vitamin cocktails will not serve the bests interests of patients.

The bill has now moved to the Senate Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection. If the bill passes, it could either serve as a much-needed curb on some of the outlandish prescribing practices of naturopaths, or it could simply turn out to be window-dressing, giving the appearance of patient protection without making any real difference in how naturopaths practice.

Posted in: Herbs & Supplements, Homeopathy, Legal, Naturopathy, Pharmaceuticals, Politics and Regulation

Leave a Comment (33) ↓

33 thoughts on “Twenty days in primary care practice, or “naturopathic residency”

  1. Bruce says:

    Great article, got me thinking about Naturopathy in the UK and had a quick squizz around the internet to try and find some kind of syllabus for any ND courses.

    I was taken a bit aback when I found “The Four Humours” listed on this website as part of a the year 1 curriculum, under “Energetics” for a Naturopathic Nutrition Diploma course.

    Am I missing something here? Surely even the biggest crank would not stoop to this level. After I read that I half expected to see a “Snake Oil” course listed.

    1. Jann Bellamy says:

      I’m afraid the biggest cranks do stoop to this level. See my post “Naturopathy Embraces the Four Humors”

      1. Bruce says:

        Oh my…

  2. Crankyepi says:

    If a naturopathic student can be “primarily responsible for patient care” why would they need to complete their studies and graduate???

  3. goodnightirene says:

    “[A]lthough MD students see plenty of patients during these clerkships [in the third and fourth year], their roles are primarily observational: they are not primarily responsible for patient care”


    I receive my medical care at a regional medical college in Wisconsin (Froedterdt); therefore, my office visits are often (with my permission) attended by fourth year medical students. Sometimes they are shadowing my doc and sometimes they are on their own. Earlier this week, a young woman was on her own. She heard my complaint, examined me, asked questions and made notes. She returned with my regular doctor who repeated the process and asked the student which antibiotic she recommended. The student thought a moment and gave her answer which my doc agreed with, and then wrote the prescription.

    This is hardly the passive observation cited by the ND site you quote. The creepy thing is that ND’s really DO think they are doctors in the same sense as MD’s. There were any number of people in the Wootown I used to live in who were suffering ongoing chronic conditions (skin things were common–acne, rosacea) with nasty flareups because they refused to see anyone but an ND–or Chinese Medicine person, or Ayeurvedic person, or….well, you get the idea. They would take fistfuls of supplements several times a day, and drink absolutely disgusting concoctions, and put god knows what up their bums, but not “take drugs”. If their faces were crusted over with oozing scabs, they just said it was the “toxins” coming out.

    I will write my email to Senator Green immediately and thank you, Ms. Bellamy for making us aware of a positive effort in State government.

  4. mho says:

    The two Colorado bills (SB14-032 and SB14-128) are scheduled for Senate committee hearings on Feb. 13th. I hope our pediatricians are reminding the health committee members that nothing’s changed–it STILL isn’t safe for naturopaths to treat children.

  5. Davdoodles says:

    “As a result, naturopathic medical students graduate prepared to begin practice and to diagnose and treat patients, whereas MD students are required to complete residencies after graduation in order to gain clinical experience.”

    Good grief, they say this like it’s a good thing.

  6. mho says:

    splitting hairs, but isn’t it only 16 states that license them? Colorado registers them-isn’t that slightly different?

    1. Jann Bellamy says:

      You are correct, it is slightly different and the differences vary from state to state. Perhaps something like “can legally practice” would be better or “are licensed or registered” in 17 states.

  7. Maned Wolf says:

    Just this very week I was speaking with a woman in my circle of friends who is attending a naturopathic college about this topic. I think my jaw literally hit the floor when she mentioned how few hours she’ll be spending in the clinic with patients before she graduates (basically, about 5-7 hours a week for the next two years).

    And yes, when people ask she says she’s in med school. Drives me crazy.

    1. Jann Bellamy says:

      Perhaps if it comes up again you might say something “innocent” like, “Wow, and three more years after graduation before you can even go into practice,” and see what happens.

    2. Andrey Pavlov says:

      It is a funny thing, these alt-med “doctors.” They obviously crave the respect that a real physician gets and somewhere realize that they don’t actually get or deserve the same respect.

      When you see a physician’s sign on the wall, it will read something like “Andrey Pavlov, MD.” When you see a quack’s sign it will read “Dr. John Smith” or “Dr. John Smith, DC” or “Dr. John Smith ND.” Why is that? I would never dream of writing “Dr. Andrey Pavlov, MD” – that just makes no sense. Unless I wanted to force people to call me “doctor” because they would not assume that DC or ND means they are an actual “doctor.”

      Same with her saying she is in med school. Why not be proud that you are in naturopathic school? Why not say that?

      In any event, to put it in perspective my cruisiest (that’s a word we use, although probably not a real one) rotation was family medicine. And in that one I spent roughly 30-40 hours per week seeing patients. All my other rotation were more like 50-60 or even more. On some of my busiest services I was starting before 5am and getting home as late as 7, 8, 9pm. My longest day was on vascular surgery where I started at 5am and went home at 1am, grabbed 3.5h of sleep, and came back to do it all again. I probably did more in 2 months of rotation than she will do in 2 years.

      1. Maned Wolf says:

        Indeed, it is telling that she says med school or that she’s training to be a doctor (and this is a very woophilic city to boot).

        Even more telling is that she used to be a biomed engineer and decided to get her ND to make more money. Yikes.

      2. tielserrath says:

        It’s unfortunate that you feel family medicine is ‘cruisy’, to use your word.

        When I have worked in a practice that has students, I can see how they would leave with that impression, as long as they never actually looked at what the doctors were actually doing.

        I started my day with full inboxes (paper and electronic) of results, clinic letters, discharge letters and an endless pile of stuff from various organisations, governmental and otherwise, telling me how I had to change my practice or x amount of my patients would suffer/die.

        Between surgeries I did nursing home visits, liaised with community nursing, pall care, community mental health, child protection and anyone else who needed a bite of my time.

        Once my surgery ended I did all the referral letters, letters to medicare, pension agencies, insurers etc etc.

        Before I left the surgery I checked for calls from the palliative patients on my list, and I’d visit them on the way home if necessary.

        And then there are the evening education sessions, practice meetings etc etc…

        I’m deeply sorry that you got such a false impression of the job. Maybe you’d like to get a little more involved next time?

        1. Andrey Pavlov says:

          It’s unfortunate that you feel family medicine is ‘cruisy’, to use your word.

          It is a relative term, of course. Merely having fixed hours and no chance of being in the hospital until midnight plus weekends off automatically makes something more “cruisy” in med student world.

          When I have worked in a practice that has students, I can see how they would leave with that impression, as long as they never actually looked at what the doctors were actually doing.

          I believe you are misunderstanding me. I never said that being a primary care physician was a cruisy career. It is certainly time consuming, hard work that requires diligence and both scientific and clinical acumen to do well.

          Being a med student on a service, however, is very different than being the attending or even the resident. And that is for all services. In fact, it is reasonably well known (or at least should be) that you tend to get a very one-sided view of every specialty you rotate through. Depending on your particularly institution and team it could be biased very positively or very negatively. You may get a lot of meaningless scut or you may get nothing but all the fun stuff. The best services offer a good mix of both.

          In any service, unless you are genuinely interested in it and go that extra mile, you will commonly not have the more mundane aspects to deal with – the callbacks, the letters on how to change your practice, the billing aspects, the discharge letters, etc. And if you do it will be just a sample to help you understand and, if you are a particularly good student, actually help the team rather than merely hinder them for your own education (which is inevitable to some degree).

          So yes, the world of fixed hours, no call, weekends off, not having to stand holding a retractor for 6 hours, having time to actually use the bathroom or get a proper lunch, not waking up at 5am to start pre-rounds before cases, never staying till midnight because an emergency came through the door, and minimal bureaucratic aspects make primary care the cruisiest rotation; which is once again a relative term describing the med student experience.

          I’m deeply sorry that you got such a false impression of the job. Maybe you’d like to get a little more involved next time?

          I did not get a false impression of the job. I have commented here many times that probably one of the most cognitively difficult specialties to do really well is primary care. The completely undifferentiated patient is always inherently more difficult to properly assess, risk stratify, and manage both in the short and long term.

          I was also extremely involved. I saw all my own patients (typically 10-12 a day) and presented each and every single one, formulated a PDx and DDx, proposed a management plan including medication additions, changes, and laboratory and diagnostic testing, and scheduled my own follow ups for days I would be in clinic in order to see my own patients again, did my own call backs for results reviews, answering of patient questions, and also had lectures, projects, specialty clinics, and exams to boot.

          And yes, relatively speaking, it was still one of the cruisier rotations I did. My point was to say that even that is still way above and beyond what the ND’s are claiming is enough to practice as primary care physicians and I know that I would be completely unprepared to act as a fully independent physician in a primary care setting, despite already having vastly more training than an ND.

      3. kevin says:

        Because your medical lobbyists made sure that it was that way in the law. In our state you cannot write Dr. in front of your name as a chiropractor unless you put DC after. Do you think monopolies are good for the consumer? Why should only one profession really feel entitled to a monopoly on providing physician services and deny all others on the basis of being too inferior to do so? Doctors of everything medical…really? God forbid any other profession should be able use the title. Patients might be misled, huh. Yah, that’s the reason.

        1. Windriven says:

          “Do you think monopolies are good for the consumer? Why should only one profession really feel entitled to a monopoly on providing physician services and deny all others on the basis of being too inferior to do so?”

          Are you serious? Would you like me to hang out a shingle and administer chemotherapy agents to your daughter? Would you think it a good idea for me to represent you in a lawsuit? Or maybe you should let me do your taxes because, while I don’t believe in GAAP, I’m a mean sonofagun with a 10 key calculator.

          What I think isn’t good for the consumer is people in white lab coats who masquerade as doctors based on a long debunked theory of medicine concocted by a religious nut over a century ago. Calling them doctors is just hysterical.

          “Dr. in front of your name as a chiropractor unless you put DC after.”

          Are you ashamed of the DC? Of course you should be. But Dr. Gorski identifies as David Gorski, MD, PhD. He doesn’t seem ashamed of his MD or his PhD. Why do you feel the need to hide your ‘credential?’

        2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

          In our state you cannot write Dr. in front of your name as a chiropractor unless you put DC after.

          That’s because chiropractor’s aren’t doctors. In a best-case scenario, they are physiotherapists with an embarassing history. In a worst-case scenario, they are acitvely dangerous because they think they can treat cancer. Saying a chiropractor is equivalent to a doctor is like saying someone who can glue the wheel back on a Hotwheels is the same as a F1 mechanic.

          Chiropractors are not doctors, they’re not even close, and their beliefs about what causes health and disease are not merely wrong – they are crazy.

          Do you think monopolies are good for the consumer?

          Yeah, legislation of medical care is not about monopolies, it’s about certification and standards. Also, doctors of osteopathy prove that it’s not a monopoly.

          Why should only one profession really feel entitled to a monopoly on providing physician services and deny all others on the basis of being too inferior to do so?

          Becuase chiorpractors are inferior. They have less training, less schooling, not to mention the biggest stumbling block – they think tiny bone misplacements can lead to, or cure, cancer. This is frankest fantasy. This is absurd. This is factually incorrect, and this is dangerous. Take any two chiropractors and ask them to even identify where a subluxation is, and in most cases they can’t agree. Because subluxations don’t exist and don’t have effects in the manner chiropractors claim they do.

          God forbid any other profession should be able use the title.

          Let me put it this way. Do you think there should be a distinction and protection of the term “licensed mechanic”? How comfortable are dropping off your car you when anyone can call themselves a licensed mechanic? How comfortable are you dropping off your car to get a new engine put in when you have no way of knowing if the person in question has ever even held a wrench? What if they not only haven’t held a wrench, but believe that cars actually run on animal blood, and thus their primary means of fixing them is to exsainguinate a bull over your Toyota?

          See, when a profession is fundamentally based on something that is not true, there’s no real chance that you’re going to get anything good out of it.

  8. Frederick says:

    They want to be treated the same as real doctors, with a “medicine” that basically have no regulation and obligation of “demonstrating” effectiveness and lower standard of care ( since they don’t have to prove, what they do work, that’s a lower standard).

    They want all without anything to do. Great. We have a good expression for that in Québec
    «vouloir le Beurre et l,argent du beurre»

    Wanting the butter and butter’s money

  9. Kov says:

    I let Senator Green know that, despite not being a resident of Hawaii, I support his legislation and hope it passes. Hawaii is too beautiful to be polluted with rampant woo! I also shared a link to this article, so maybe SBM will gain a reader.

  10. Kov says:

    For what it’s worth, I just got a brief reply, apparently directly from Senator Green (he signed it “Josh”), thanking me for my input. Might not be worth much to get support from people who aren’t constituents, but hopefully it’s heartening for him know that his efforts are noticed and applauded beyond his home state.

    Science-based lobbying, y’all!

    1. windriven says:

      Kov, if you have time, please post a brief description of your exchange with Green at SFSBM -> Legislative Action.

    2. nyudds says:

      You can always send a check. Money is still the mothers’ milk of politics.

  11. Stephen S. Rodrigues, MD says:

    Thanks for the work and research.

    Now that I call myself a naturopathic provider, 15 yrs in traditional and 15 yrs using needles, this makes me a little worried that the traditional medicine flaws are being carried over into this discipline also. (I know where the skeletons are located)

    1. Humans can not medicate or fix a lot of the everyday chief complaints.
    2. Modern medicine has totally ignored the greatest masquerader in medicine and that is myofascial pain and dysfunctions. This is where a lot of time, effort and money is wasted.
    Good for the business bottom line, bad for the overall economy and the well being of citizens.
    3. Without needles this discipline will suffer the same faith as general medicine.
    4. A complete paradigm shift from the dangerous and impersonal trial and error approach to a “try and see” how therapy can restore a patient back to wellness approach.

    1. windriven says:

      Top ten, Rodrigues. No more lies, no more magic. Show us what you’ve got. We’re all tired of your same old tired garbage. Time to show your cards.

  12. Stephen S. Rodrigues, MD says:

    See my other post??!!

    1. Not 100% certain, but I think windriven means: Show us your scientific, peer-reviewed, evidence of your claims. Not anecdotes (tales that “X happend to me when I took herb Y”), not claims of “this has been done for thousands of years, no claims of “eastern medicine shows that it works,” nor even statements of “In European country B…,” evidence. Link us to randomized, double-blind studies that have been properly done & with results that can be duplicated.

      1. What you are asking is just a small part of clinical medicine and to me somewhat irrelevant. The trickle down effect into the office takes a half decade and by then most are removed off the market or are turn out to be just me-too’s.

        1. Windriven says:

          “What you are asking is … to me somewhat irrelevant.”

          Yes Steve, that, in a nutshell, is the problem.

  13. Alexandra Halaby says:

    In order to become an accredited medical school NCNM took the curriculum from Yale medical school. They not only have to learn all of the same upper division science classes but they also have to take nutrition, pharmacology, minor surgery, herbology and a class how those nutriceuticals interact with pharma drugs . NDs also have to take a whole semester of immunology vs. 2 weeks like OHSU which is a top 5 medical school.Most of NCNM’s professors are D.Os and M.Ds. People have this terrible idea of these old school hippie doctors heeling with love. The new naturopathic generation is highly integrative and interested in taking care of the entire mind and body by any means necessary and if that means giving someone an antibiotic, which is necessary in many cases, then by all means do it!!!!!!
    There have been many studies that prove that diet can change someone’s epigenetic coding which can lead to many diseases in generations down the line. Don’t you think that the standard medical doctor should take these things into account? There are going to be just as many wacky naturopaths as there are overly self assured doctors that misdiagnose. We need to stop saying us vs. them and work together for the good of our patients. We can both bring many things to the table.

  14. References:

    Gunn Approach to the Treatment of Chronic Pain: Intramuscular Stimulation for Myofascial Pain of Radiculopathic Origin [Hardcover] C. Chan Gunn MD OBC CM DSc(hon) PhD (Author)
    Travell & Simons’ Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual (2-Volume Set) [Hardcover] David G. Simons (Author), Janet G. Travell (Author), Lois S. Simons (Author), Barbara D. Cummings (Author)
    Myofascial Pain and Fibromyalgia: Trigger Point Management [Hardcover]
    Edward S. Rachlin MD FACS (Author), Isabel Rachlin PT (Author), Isabel Rachlin (Author)
    Ligament and Tendon Relaxation (Skeletal Disability : Treated By Prolotherapy) [Hardcover] George S. Hackett (Author)
    Pain Procedures in Clinical Practice, 2e by Ted A. Lennard MD, David G Vivian MM BS FAFMM, Stevan DOW Walkowski and Aneesh K. Singla MD MPH (Mar 15, 2000)
    Backache from Occiput to Coccyx Hardcover – January 1, 1964, by Gerald L. Burke (Author)
    Intraneural Injections for Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis & Control of Pain in Arthritis of the Knee by DiFabio and Pybus
    Acupuncture Energetics: A Clinical Approach for Physicians Hardcover, by Joseph M. Helms
    Healing through Trigger Point Therapy: A Guide to Fibromyalgia, Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction by Devin J. Starlanyl, John Sharkey and Amanda Williams (Aug 27, 2013)
    Myofascial Pain and Fibromyalgia Syndromes: A Clinical Guide to Diagnosis and Management, 1e by Peter E. Baldry MB FRCP (May 4, 2001)
    Travell J. Office hours: day and night. The autobiography of Janet Travell, M.D. New York: World Publishing Co.; 1968.
    Kellgren JH. A preliminary account of referred pains arising from muscle. Br Med J 1938;1:325–7.
    Gutstein M. Diagnosis and treatment of muscular rheumatism. Br J Phys Med 1938;1:302–21.
    Kelly M. The treatment of fibrositis and allied disorders by local anaesthesia. Med J Aust 1941;1:294–8.
    Simons DG, Travell JG, Simons LS. Travell and Simons Myofascial pain and dysfunction. The trigger point manual, upper half of body. Vol 1. 2nd ed. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins; 1999.
    Travell W, Travell J. Modifications and effects of the static surge of the static wire-brush discharge. Arch Phys Ther 1941;22:486–9.
    Travell J, Rinzler S, Herman M. Pain and disability of the shoulder and arm: treatment by intramuscular infiltration with procaine hydrochloride. J Am Med Assoc 1942;120:417–22.
    Travell J, Rinzler SH. The myofascial genesis of pain. Postgrad Med 1952;11:425–34. [PubMed]
    Bates T. Myofascial pain. In: Green M, Haggerty RJ, eds. Ambulatory pediatrics II: Personal health care of children in the office. WB Saunders: Philadelphia; 1977. p. 147–8.
    Bates T, Grunwaldt E. Myofascial pain in childhood. J Pediatr 1958;53:198–209. [PubMed]
    Sorensen TC. Kennedy. New York: Harper & Row; 1965. p. 40.
    McCloskey E. Her spirit and work live on. Int J Appl Kinesiol Kinesiolog Med 2002;13:11.
    Davies C. The trigger point therapy workbook. Oakland (CA): New Harbinger Publications, Inc.; 2001. p. 15.

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