After attaining a pre-med undergraduate degree, a licensed naturopathic doctor (N.D.) attends a four-year graduate-level naturopathic medical school and is educated in all of the same basic sciences as an M.D., but also studies holistic and non-toxic approaches to therapy with a strong emphasis on disease prevention and wellness optimization. Clinical internships are part of the program.

In addition to a standard medical curriculum, the naturopathic doctor is required to complete training in clinical nutrition, acupuncture, homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, psychology and counseling (to encourage people to make lifestyle changes in support of their personal health).

There are five accredited schools in the United States:

Bastyr University (Kenmore, Washington)

National College of Natural Medicine (Portland, Oregon)

National University of Health Sciences (Lombard, Illinois)

Southwest College of Natural Medicine (Tempe, Arizona)

University of Bridgeport College of Natural Medicine (Bridgeport, Connecticut)

There are two accredited schools in Canada:

Boucher Institute of Natural Medicine (New Westminster, British Columbia)

Canadian College of Natural Medicine (Toronto, Ontario)

A naturopathic doctor takes rigorous professional board exams so that he or she may be licensed by a state or jurisdiction as a primary care general practice physician.