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Naturopathic Medicine | Legal Status and Licensure

Legal status and licensure

Currently, naturopathic doctors are licensed as health care providers in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Washington state and the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Legal provisions allow the practice of naturopathic medicine in several other states.

Efforts to gain licensure elsewhere are currently under way. Forty-two states and territories in the United States have professional associations for naturopathic medicine. Naturopathic physicians are also recognized in British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan.

Naturopathic medicine licensure requirements

All states and provinces with licensure laws require a resident course of at least four years and 4,100 hours of study from a college or university recognized by the state examining board. To qualify for a license, the applicant must satisfactorily pass the naturopathic physicians licensing exam (NPLEX), which is administered by the North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners (NABNE) and which includes basic sciences, diagnostic and therapeutic subjects and clinical sciences. Applicants must satisfy all licensing requirements for the individual state or province to which they have applied as well. Graduates of Bastyr University are eligible to sit for the licensing examination in all states and provinces that license naturopathic physicians.

For current licensure information, consult the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.

Read FAQs about naturopathic medicine.

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