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Curriculum & Length of Program
NCNM is the founding naturopathic medical school in North America and is known for having the most comprehensive clinical training, expansive research opportunities, and graduates who are considered leaders in natural medicine. There is no better place to study naturopathic medicine than at one of the most integrated and progressive healthcare systems in the United States – Portland, Oregon.
The Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND) degree provides the foundation and training necessary to become a primary care physician. Our curriculum fosters critical thinking and clinical integration through a hybrid block structure that focuses on case-based learning. Central to the curriculum is an emphasis on combining philosophy, diverse clinical therapeutic modalities and patient-centered care.
The first year of study focuses on basic sciences, naturopathic philosophy, evidence-based medicine and early introduction to therapeutic modalities. In the second and third year of our four year program students move into system-based block courses that concentrate on pathology, assessments, treatment, and management. The fourth year is primarily clinical with accompanying didactic courses supporting a student’s individual area of interest or clinical focus.
The typical student will complete the program in four years. Because the program is rigorous and the course load heavy, students may choose to complete the ND degree in five years. Students may take no more than seven years to complete the program.
- Primary care physician or specialty practitioner in either a private practice, group medical practice, or hospital setting.
- Rural medicine or global heath outreach focusing on underserved patient populations.
- Academic instruction or administration in health care education.
- Policy work as a consultant or advocate for industry, insurance or the political arena.
- Research scientist in natural medicine and/or integrative medicine.
- Natural medicine spokesperson/advisor.
- Dietary supplement entrepreneur or natural products specialist.
- Corporate wellness educator and entrepreneur.
- Public health administrator.
- Natural medicine author/public speaker.
The scope of practice for Naturopathic physicians varies by jurisdiction. The overwhelming trend in the United States is a continued expansion in scope of practice for Naturopathic Physicians. There are currently 17 States, five Canadian provinces, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands that have laws regulating naturopathic doctors. Learn more about licensure from the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. Visit NCNM’s licensing section for more information about ND licensing.