What is a Naturopathic Physician?

What is a naturopathic physician? What is a naturopathic physician?

In order to become a licensed naturopathic physician, one must complete undergraduate premedical course work and then attend a four year accredited naturopathic medical school. Following graduation, there is a three day long series of national accreditation exams that must be passed before a candidate is eligible for license, to practice naturopathic medicine. The successful completion of these exams enables the naturopathic physician to practice primary care medicine in accordance with the licenture laws of their particular state. In order to be fully licensed in a particular state a candidate must sit for, and pass, additional state exams. Once licensed, to maintain a license, continuing education courses must be completed every year. Our philosophical approach to health care is described throughout this site. To learn more about the requirements, program of study, and scope of practice, we encourage you to visit the university or professional organization sites listed in the link section of this web site.

Are naturopaths licensed physician? Are naturopaths licensed physician?

Yes. In the states that license and regulate naturopaths, we are primary care physicians. Categorically, this is the same designation of licensure as an M.D. However, there is a difference in our scope of practice. An M.D. has what is referred to as an unrestricted license whereas, naturopathic physicians have restricted licenses. What we can do, how we can do it, and what we can prescribe varies widely from state to state. Oregon has one of the widest scopes of practice for Naturopathic Physicians, and upholds the highest academic standard for it’s licensed physicians.

Do you treat both chronic and acute illnesses? Do you treat both chronic and acute illnesses?

Yes. There are many homeopathic and botanical medicines that can effectively treat acute disorders (colds, flu, ear aches) while avoiding the use of antibiotics and steroids. There are patients who come to the clinic who are generally healthy and only want treatment of an acute problem. We are happy to help them. However, the occurrence of even an acute infection is a signal of lowered resistance or increased susceptibility to infection. We feel the best way to correct chronic conditions is to feed and strengthen the body as a whole (now often referred to as “working the terrain”) thereby allowing the restoration of proper functioning to each individual.

Do you treat children? Do you treat children?

Yes. We treat lots of kids (ears, colds, colic, etc.) from newborns on. We feel strongly about keeping young children off repeated courses of antibiotics. The number one side effect of antibiotic treatment is inflammation of the gut. With the repeated use of antibiotics in children there is the potential of causing decreased immunity, decreased absorption of nutrients and the development of allergies to a wide range of foods. Children respond especially well to homeopathic medicines and specific nutritional support.

Do you work with other doctors? Do you work with other doctors?

Yes. There are a number of doctors ( MD, DC, L.Ac.) that we both refer people to and get referrals from.

Does my insurance cover my visit? Does my insurance cover my visit?

Many insurance companies have policies that provide coverage for naturopathic physicians. We generally recommend that you contact your agent to ask specifically about your policy’s coverage since policies within a company may vary. By Oregon state law, all automobile insurance must pay for medical services provided by naturopaths for injuries sustained in an auto accident.

Will you bill my insurance? Will you bill my insurance?

Yes. If your policy covers our services we will bill for you. If you have to meet your deductible or have a co-pay we will ask that you pay those charges at the time of service. Most insurance companies will not pay for medicines dispensed from a doctor’s office. There are some lab tests that we get special pricing for by sending a check in with the lab sample. In those cases, if you want the preferred price, we will need payment at the time of service. We will still bill your insurance for covered tests so that you will be reimbursed for your expenditures.

Do you take Medicare? Do you take Medicare?

Unfortunately, no we do not at this time.

If I don’t have insurance, do you have a payment program? If I don’t have insurance, do you have a payment program?

Yes. Generally we ask that anything we have to buy (supplements, lab tests, medical supplies) be covered at the time of service. Payment for office visits and services can then be paid over time. The specifics of each payment plan needs to be worked out with the office manager.

What are your hours? What are your hours?

The clinic is open Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm. We are closed for lunch from 12:30 until 2:00. A message machine is always on when we are closed and emergency numbers are provided. Office visits are by appointment only.

Do you sell vitamins and supplements? Do you sell vitamins and supplements?

Yes. We maintain a dispensary for our patients. We mostly stock and sell products that are specially compounded (unavailable in health food stores) or medicines that are available by prescription only. For supplements and vitamins commercially available we prefer to have people go to a local health food store of their choice.

How long does it take to get an appointment? How long does it take to get an appointment?

Usually we can schedule an appointment within two days. Frequently, for emergencies we can get people in on the same day.

Do you offer free consults? Do you offer free consults?

Because so many people are new to naturopathic medicine we offer a free 15 minute consult so that you can meet the doctor, get some general information and decide if you want to work with us. During these free consultations no treatment or diagnosis will be given. These visits are intended as introductory to the clinic only.

Do you take credit cards? Do you take credit cards?

Yes. We take Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.