Naturopathic Physicians

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Video transcript

Naturopathic doctors and medical doctors share many similarities, but have a different approach to medical care for patients. While naturopathic doctors, or NDs, are educated in the same biomedical sciences as medical doctors, NDs use holistic and nontoxic approaches to healing, emphasizing disease prevention, nutrition, and wellness. While medical doctors emphasize treating symptoms, NDs focus on treating the root causes of illness and enlisting the body's self-healing abilities. NDs treat patients of all ages, from pediatrics to geriatrics. As with other doctors, NDs interview patients to document symptoms, review a patient's medical history and make their diagnosis, recommendation and prescription. Instead of prescription drugs, NDs often use naturally occurring remedies that can be found in foods, herbs, and vitamin supplements. They also use alternative therapeutic regimens such as traditional Indian Ayurvedic- or Chinese medicine, homeopathy, mindfulness training, and biofeedback. To clarify a diagnosis, they may order diagnostic procedures and lab tests from other professionals, and consult with other healthcare professionals as needed. Naturopathic doctors work in private practice, clinics, and in community health centers that offer other alternative medicine practices such as acupuncture, massage, or chiropractic. They attend four-year, graduate-level, naturopathic medical schools where they study anatomy, physiology, biology, chemistry, pathology, diagnosis, and holistic and nontoxic therapies. Currently, state licensure is available in some states, while other states require NDs to practice under another medical degree.

Diagnose, treat, and help prevent diseases using a system of practice that is based on the natural healing capacity of individuals. May use physiological, psychological or mechanical methods. May also use natural medicines, prescription or legend drugs, foods, herbs, or other natural remedies.
Critical decision making
Level of responsibilities
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
Dealing and handling conflict
Competition for this position
Communication with others
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
Comfort of the work setting
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
Exposure to job hazards
Physical demands
Daily tasks

Perform mobilizations and high-velocity adjustments to joints or soft tissues, using principles of massage, stretching, or resistance.

Conduct periodic public health maintenance activities such as immunizations and screenings for diseases and disease risk factors.

Perform venipuncture or skin pricking to collect blood samples.

Monitor updates from public health agencies to keep abreast of health trends.

Obtain medical records from previous physicians or other health care providers for the purpose of patient evaluation.

Advise patients about therapeutic exercise and nutritional medicine regimens.

Diagnose health conditions, based on patients' symptoms and health histories, laboratory and diagnostic radiology test results, or other physiological measurements, such as electrocardiograms and electroencephalographs.

Conduct physical examinations and physiological function tests for diagnostic purposes.

Maintain professional development through activities such as postgraduate education, continuing education, preceptorships, and residency programs.

Document patients' histories, including identifying data, chief complaints, illnesses, previous medical or family histories, or psychosocial characteristics.

Educate patients about health care management.

Assisting and Caring for Others Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Medicine and Dentistry Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
Psychology Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Therapy and Counseling Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
Biology Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Clerical Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Service Orientation Actively looking for ways to help people.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.