Naturopathic Practice

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) opposes licensure of naturopaths. Naturopathic theory and practice are not based upon the body of basic knowledge related to health, disease, and health care that has been accepted widely by the scientific community. Moreover, the scope and quality of naturopathic education do not prepare the practitioner to properly and accurately diagnose illness or provide appropriate treatment. Governmental endorsement of naturopaths through licensure will jeopardize the health and safety of patients.

In those states that permit licensure of naturopaths, the AAFP opposes any expansion of naturopaths’ scope of practice that is not supported by naturopathic education and training. The AAFP believes that naturopathic education and training do not prepare naturopaths to safely or effectively prescribe medications, perform physicals for school or employment, or perform surgical procedures.

A naturopath must not be allowed, under any circumstances, to use the title "physician," nor should a naturopath ever be considered a "primary care physician."

Public and private payers must not be compelled or mandated to pay for naturopathic services.

The AAFP’s position is that, like the training for all other providers offering health care services to patients, the training programs preparing naturopaths should be monitored constantly to assure the quality of the training provided. (2012 COD)