Thursday, February 4, 2016

The shocking confessions of a naturopathic doctor

From Kevin MD:  http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2016/01/shocking-confessions-naturopathic-doctor.html
 
I was a licensed naturopathic doctor in two states. I quit practicing naturopathic medicine after discovering my former boss, also a licensed ND, had been importing and administering an illegal cancer drug. I trusted my boss, as did his patients, because he was well respected in the naturopathic community and his credentials included “FABNO” (Fellow of the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology). This FABNO treated any kind of cancer, even in patients who had been discharged by their medical oncologists. I regret not being concerned that the drug would arrive at the clinic in packages with foreign postage. My alarm bells didn’t go off until one day the packages stopped arriving, and my FABNO boss said, “They were probably confiscated.”

Promptly, I looked up the substance. It is called Ukrain and is not approved or under review by the FDA, which makes it a federal crime to import into the U.S. I confronted my boss, to which he acknowledged his actions were “legally questionable.” I hired a lawyer, resigned, and filed a complaint to the state’s naturopathic board.

That evening, a former president of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians called and urged me not to go to the authorities because, in his words, “You are a naturopath after all.”
I felt personally insulted. Were my boss’s actions meant to go unreported because of a professional philosophy packaged as an appeal to nature? My interest in being a naturopath evaporated. I had spent almost 8 years in the naturopathic community. I went to one of the “best” naturopathic programs and believed that NDs were primary care physicians. In anguish, I began scrutinizing my education and training at Bastyr University. What I learned is frightening.

What is a licensed naturopath?

Naturopaths are licensed or registered in 17 states, two U.S. territories and D.C., as well as five Canadian provinces. Their goal is full licensure with a scope of practice equal to primary care physicians. Current scopes vary wildly. In Arizona, an ND is considered a “physician” and can prescribe controlled substances and perform minor surgeries. In Alaska, an ND is restricted to providing nutritional advice, counseling, herbs, homeopathy, and physical therapies.

A licensed ND needs to have graduated from a program accredited by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME), which is granted programmatic accrediting status by the U.S. Department of Education. Many, especially NDs, often confuse CNME accreditation with government endorsement. In fact, CNME has accrediting power because it meets administrative criteria, not because the naturopathic curriculum is medically sound. Tellingly, naturopaths accredit their own programs.

Continue reading at:  http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2016/01/shocking-confessions-naturopathic-doctor.html

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