How to find someone you like
As with any service profession, you need to find someone you like to work with. A few ways I use to find and evaluate any medical professional is to:
- Ask friends for a recommendation.
- Call the office and see if I am treated with respect on the phone.
- Ask questions about what the doctor’s specialty is and if they have treated something similar to my condition.
- Ask about the fees and how much time is allotted for the first appointment.
- Ask what historic lab tests they want you to bring in.
- If they do not treat what I am looking for, I always ask for a recommendation to someone who would.
And, when I visit for the first time, I look at:
- How happy are the staff? (Happy staff = a good manager.)
- Does the doctor listen and believe what I am saying? (No one knows your body better than you do!)
- If testing is required, ask about the price, and if there are any alternatives if the cost is too high.
- Is the doctor giving me a treatment plan that I understand?
- If I do everything that the doctor asks, how long does she/he expect it will take for my issue to resolve or me to feel better?
1. Naturopathic Doctors
Why Choose a Naturopathic Doctor?
Some of the reasons you might choose a Naturopathic Doctor include:
- You want a doctor who will treat all of you, not just your illness.
- You want to treat the root cause of an illness, not just the symptoms.
- You want to actively participate in managing your own health.
What is a Naturopathic Doctor?
“Naturopathic doctors are educated and trained in accredited naturopathic medical colleges. They diagnose, prevent, and treat acute and chronic illness to restore and establish optimal health by supporting the person’s inherent self-healing process. Rather than just suppressing symptoms, naturopathic doctors work to identify underlying causes of illness and develop personalized treatment plans to address them. Their Therapeutic Order™ identifies the natural order in which all therapies should be applied to provide the greatest benefit with the least potential for damage.” (Source: https://naturopathic.org/page/WhatisaNaturopathicDoctor)
Are Naturopathic Doctors licensed?
In the United States, each state has the authority to license Naturopathic Doctors. For example, Naturopathic Doctors (ND), sometimes referred to as Naturopathic Medical Doctors (NMD), have been licensed as Primary Care Doctors by the State of Connecticut since 1929.
Since each state in the US has the authority to license, NDs in each state may have different medical procedures that they can do. For example, some states allow NDs to write prescriptions for all prescription drugs, while other states may only allow NDs to prescribe non-narcotic medications.
WARNING! PLEASE NOTE: Not all states in the US have licensure for NDs. This is bad because it allows Non-NDs to practice and say that they are NDs. If you live in a state that does not license NDs, then You can still look at the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians’ website to see if there is an ND licenced in another state who also practices in your state.
Where can I find a licensed Naturopathic Doctor?
According to the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, currently, 22 states, the District of Columbia, and the United States territories of Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands have licensing or registration laws for Naturopathic Doctors. In these states, Naturopathic Doctors are required to graduate from accredited four-year residential naturopathic medical programs, pass an extensive postdoctoral board examination (NPLEX), and keep up their education with annual continuing education credits in order to receive a license or registration.
To see a full list and map of states that have licensing laws, please visit Regulation of Naturopathic Doctors in the United States.22 states is less than half of the US, which is not great, but more states are coming on board and in the meantime, you can find real, fully qualified NDs in other states by visiting the AANP website and searching in your area. Please follow this link: https://naturopathic.org/search (or by clicking the button below.)
2. Functional Medicine Practitioner
What is Functional Medicine?
According to the Institute for Functional Medicine, (IFM,) “The Functional Medicine model is an individualized, patient-centered, science-based approach that empowers patients and practitioners to work together to address the underlying causes of disease and promote optimal wellness. It requires a detailed understanding of each patient’s genetic, biochemical, and lifestyle factors and leverages that data to direct personalized treatment plans that lead to improved patient outcomes.”
How does one get to be a Functional Medicine Practitioner?
While these practitioners may or may not be doctors, according to the IFM, a person certified by them must:
Hold at least a master’s level degree in a health-related field from an accredited university and be one of the professionals listed below to apply for Certification as a Functional Medicine Practitioner:
Or, if one of the professions listed below, need only a bachelor’s degree, AND hold an active healthcare license to practice by the appropriate authority in their state, province, or country:
- Registered nurses
- Registered dietitians
- Physician assistants
- Physical therapists
- Occupational therapists
Be sure to ask about qualifications!
If you can find one, it may be best to go see a doctor who is also certified in Functional Medicine. A Naturopathic Doctor, Medical Doctor, or a Doctor of Osteopathy have usually received the most education. But certainly, there are other professionals who are avid learners and continue their education well beyond their original degree.
To find a Functional Medicine Practitioner, click the button below and then click on “Advanced Search Options” (link in green, under the location field.)
There are a growing number of physicians becoming trained in environmental medicine. As at least 80% of all chronic diseases are considered to be related to our lifestyle and environment, and we continue to add more and more chemicals to our environment, it is logical that medicine moves in this direction, as well as begins to advocate against indiscriminate chemical use.
1. Naturopathic Doctors who specialize in Detox
The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians has a directory on its website — https://naturopathic.org/search/ to help you search for practitioners of Detox. Naturopathic Physicians (N.D.s) who have gone to a four-year fully-accredited degree program are some of the best-trained professionals in the use of Detox methods and practice medicine with a philosophy of holism. This philosophy of the “Healing Power of Nature” actually contains detox as a cornerstone of health. No other health professions can lay claim to a deep connection to nature and detox as a guiding principle.
2. ACAM Detoxification specialty
The American College for the Advancement of Medicine (ACAM) has a specialty group devoted to the practice of Detoxification therapies. To find these, please go to — https://www.acam.org/search/custom.asp?id=1758
Then, from the Specialities dropdown menu, select “Detoxification” or “Chelation Therapy”.
3. American Academy of Environmental Medicine
Another great place to look for help would be the American Academy of Environmental Medicine – https://www.aaemonline.org/find.php
4. Spas and other practitioners
There are many other people who have health spas and Detox centers and products and procedures that claim to remove metals. I caution the reader to be scientific in the selection of such a place. Be a healthy skeptic and look for credentials and legitimate licensees to practice medicine. Detox is a type of medicine, and practicing it responsibly for the removal of heavy metals and other toxic chemical compounds, in a way that will not cause your body damage demands accountability, experience, and knowledge.