Patients Protected for Naturopaths from a Unexpected Source: Insurance Companies

As was noted today

Comparing the education that physicians and naturopaths obtain in order to prepare for their professions reveals a large difference between the two. Although both schools have a four year program - the similarities end there.

And that is the education for a degree.

Of course, as has been discussed at length at Science-Based Medicine and the Naturopathic Diaries, large swaths of naturopathic education is in pseudo-science: Homeopathy, water therapy, acupuncture and energy therapy that are not part of a standard medical education because they are fictions, divorced from reality.

There has not been a medical student this century, who, upon graduating, is even remotely ready to take care of patients.  The best you can say about a real (MD/DO) education is that it lays the groundwork for the real training to become a doctor.

The real education in medicine occurs in residency and fellowship, 3 plus years that more resembles the apprenticeship of a trade than graduate school.  Years of patient care under the supervision of senior physicians both in the hospital and outpatient setting is when you really learn how to be a doctor.

Naturopaths almost never have that training. The are sent out into the world with little education and less training in reality-based medicine.

And the few that have completed a residency

There are like 10 naturopathic doctors in the entire country that have had a three-year residency.

do naturopathic residencies, only reinforcing the pseudo-scientific basis of their practice. Not reassuring that

PacificSource Health Plans, for example, requires at least one year in a residency program that’s recognized by the Oregon Board of Naturopathic Medicine, which licenses naturopaths…

Not that ND’s recognize the near complete inadequacy of their skill set for patient care.

Some insurers in Oregon will not allow naturopaths to be primary care providers unless they have completed a three year residency,

which are, for the most part, insurmountable for a naturopathic doctor to obtain

In other words, having adequate training for competent patient care is insurmountable for naturopaths.

And

The Oregon Association of Naturopathic Physicians is asking insurers to consider allowing a certain number of years working in the field to qualify as a primary care provider rather than having completed a residency.

Not a real substitute for a reality-based residency. Look at any ND website and you will see little if any practice that assures a reality-based practitioner that any ND knows what they are doing.

The Oregon Legislature, by allowing ND’s to be be Primary Care Providers, has demonstrated no interest in quality, reality-based medical care. It is nice to see insurance companies stepping up to the plate. Who would have thought?