Bill for Licensing of Naturopathic Doctors Seeks Public Support
Massachusetts Senate Bill 2148 regulating Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) has passed favorably out of the Joint Committee on Public Health this winter. The next stop is the Joint Committee for Health Care Financing. The legislation requires licensure for NDs in Massachusetts by establishing educational and practice standards and a board of registration to regulate the profession.
“Licensure ensures high quality naturopathic care by protecting the consumer from unqualified practitioners who claim to be naturopathic doctors,” says Dr. Amy Rothenberg, president of the Massachusetts Society of Naturopathic Doctors. “It will improve access to complementary medicine because more qualified natural medicine specialists will be encouraged to practice here.”
NDs are general practitioner medical specialists in natural therapies. They treat acute and chronic conditions by employing natural therapies including nutrition, herbal medicine and nutritional supplements, and focus on prevention and lifestyle improvements in their therapeutic recommendations. NDs graduate from four-year, residential, graduate-level medical colleges and learn basic and clinical sciences similar to conventional medical doctors. They are currently licensed in 18 states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“We want to remind lawmakers that there are many Massachusetts residents, from patients and medical providers to naturopathic doctors, pulling for this legislation,” says Rothenberg.
Visit MSND.org to learn more and support the legislative effort. To contact state senators and representatives, visit MALegislature.gov/People/Search. To reach the Joint Committee on HealthCare Financing, visit MALegislature.gov/Committees/Joint/J24.