Good Question :)
Seriously - the role of a ND or Naturopathic Consultant (in New Jersey) is one of an educator and coach. NDs are not recognized as anything more than a consultant as there is no NJ State board certification like for Physical Therapists or Medical Doctors or Chiropractors. In the neighboring state of NY - they have an association and are self administering and managing their community of Naturopaths - and pushing for licensure. Connecticut is a state where an ND is similar to a MD as long as they have gone to a MD style college.
There is a National Governing body for Board Certification (ANCB) - as Certified Traditional Naturopath - which I intend to sit for later this year. Even the ND's who go to 4 year MD style school have some form of board certification (AANP) but theirs is more like a MD by its content and partially overlaps with my scope of work.
Bottom line difference between the two roles is the approach - Medical Doctors are reactive, treat symptoms, diagnose illness and prescribe medicine. Naturopathic Doctors/Consultant are preventative, educators on the body and its systems on WHY certain symptoms can occur and work hard in coaching others toward health and on occasion they recommend protocols which have been documented to assist the body in achieving and maintaining health.
Where diets are concerned - medical doctors tell you to go on a diet or monitor your progress that they define for you. Nutritionists educate in a similar fashion as Naturopaths, however Nutritionists do not focus on the herbal or homeopathic supporting protocols or 'therapies' which make diets easier to work through.
So - in a nutshell - what will I be doing? I plan to educate and coach folks in the art and science of detoxification and cleansing for health, reviewing existing diets and exercise patterns to jointly craft successful eating and exercise strategies using what nature (and some science) provides for assistance and support (aromatherapy, magnetics, and homeopathy).
To quote my past life in dealing with Quality Certification when related to health - "SAY IT, DO IT, PROVE IT"
- SAY you want to improve your health - daily
- DO something positive for yourself for your health - because you want to do it
- PROVE it to yourself through consistent behavior and sharing with others your success
Over the last two years - I have worked my health strategy plans around this motto: I said I wanted to change and make changes daily (as well as perform balancing and Reiki Maintenance daily as of the last year); I continue to do at least 4 things for myself for the betterment of my health daily - for ME; and lastly - my commitment shows in my own self improvement and genuine desire to help others achieve health too.
So - is there a place for ND's in the same world as MD's - sure; we are two sides of the same coin and should be acknowledged for the contributions we both make in the active and passive roles of client's lives. If prevention became the norm then MD's would be just like ND's and then dis-ease is but an oddity versus a common day occurrence.
I am in negotiations for office space already - with two different places. Once I have completed negotiation and am "open for business" - it will be posted here.
We are almost 'ready for primetime' now :)