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National Association of Naturopathic Physicians --
Outline for Study of Services of Practitioners
Performing Health Services in Independent Practice

Part IV: Education


1. Accreditation only

As described in detail in the appended "Directives to Council on Education and Syllabus of Minimum Curriculum for the Guidance of Accredited Naturopathic Colleges", three bodies adopted the current accreditation standards for naturopathic institutions of higher learning -- the profession's Council on Education, the Council on State Boards of Naturopathic Examiners, and the House of Delegates of the American (now National) Association of. Naturopathic Physicians. Their action was taken in July, 1953.

Membership of the Council on Education comprises representatives of currently or provisionally accredited schools and an equivalent representation from the general body of practicing naturopaths, the latter being named by the Board of Trustees of N.A.N.P. The Council on State Boards of Naturopathic Examiners comprises representatives from each state maintaining such a licensing and examining body. The House of Delegates of the N.A.N.P. is the national Association's primary policy-making body of delegate members from states in which it has individual members or affiliated local associations.

Applications for accreditation are reviewed by the three above-named groups, either in concert or singly (i.e., the House of Delegates normally convenes only during annual N.A.N.P. conventions).

(Note: As has been recited earlier, the National College of Naturopathic Medicine is the single, active teaching facility in the United States at present, although N.A.N.P. is informed that the former Sierra States University, 1413 7th Street, Santa Monica, California, may be in the process of reorganization and may seek re-accreditation. In Canada (we note this because of the cross-border character of naturopathy, whose practitioners' credentials are virtually identical throughout North America), the Institut de Naturopathie du Quebec, 150 Ouest Laurier, Montreal, Quebec, Canada -- Raymond Barbeau, Director, has applied for accreditation and its courses have been approved for the purpose of transferring credits to United States naturopathic facilities.)

2. Process of accreditation

Application must be made concurrently to the three approval bodies described above in A. 1., and approval must be forthcoming from all three bodies. For further detail, see the appended Syllabus, pp. 1-4.

3. Accreditation requirements

See the attached Syllabus.

a. Curriculum

See attached Syllabus and appended course catalog for the National College .of Naturopathic Medicine.

(1) Courses

(2) Course hours

(a) Academic: number and percent. -- 3618 hours required; 77.330/c of total required course hours.
(b) Clinical: number and percent. -- 1088 hours required; 22.6717/c of total required course hours.
    Outpatient training. -- No hospital facilities are available for outpatient training.
    Hospital training. -- See above answer.
    For other clinical training, see the answer to IV. A.3.a. (2). (b), above.
    (c) Internship or field training. -- Students receive practical experience in the National College of Naturopathic Medicine's clinic, in the College building, at 1327 North 45th Street, Seattle Washington 98103, and through externship in the offices of various faculty member naturopaths.

Externships and clinical assignments are based upon a student's need and prior experience. Thus, an experienced chiropractor entering the College as a senior-year student would not be placed in the office of a specialist in osteology, nor a former obstetrical nurse or midwife placed with an obstetrics specialist. All students, however, are required to spend 80 hours in obstetrical internship and to aid in two or more deliveries.

(3) Grading systems

See attached course catalog.
(a) (a. was omitted on questionnaire)
(b) Entrance qualifications. See attached course catalog and Syllabus.

c. Faculty

(1) Qualifications

See attached course catalog and Syllabus. The N.C.N.M. faculty is largely volunteer; practitioners from British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon. Many have Bachelors degrees; all have N.D. degrees and are licensed to practice. The College President holds B.S., M.A., and Th. D. degrees; the clinical nurse holds B.S. and R.N. degrees. (Note: The faculty of the Institut de Naturopathie du Quebec is equally qualified; see appended photocopy of page 4 of the Institute's catalog.)

(2) Number students per faculty member

A condition of accreditation is that the College shall maintain at least one faculty member per 25 students. Because of the diverse number of academic subjects in the College's curricula, and the over-all faculty size (30-plus), there are considerably less than 25 students working with one teacher at any given time.

d. Physical plant

The N.C.N.M. building is at 1327 North 45th Street, Seattle, Washington, where most classes and clinical training in naturopathic medicine are conducted. The building was purchased in May, 1964, for $45,000, has since been remodeled, and Is now valued in excess of $50,000. The building contains a fully-equipped clinic, administrative offices, and two classrooms on its lower (ground) floor, and one classroom and three living quarters on its second floor. Current planning calls for transforming the living-quarter space to additional classrooms, a laboratory, and a dissecting room.

(1) Laboratories

The College contains one laboratory, operated in conjunction with its clinic. Remodeled and refurbished in the spring of 1968, this laboratory is equipped and utilized for conducting clinical testing, but is too small for extensive research.

(2) Libraries

The N.C.N.M. maintains a 5000-volume library, most of its works dealing with natural drugs -- older books whose content remains unchanged by any but radical research innovation. Because of the relatively static character of naturopathic publishing, the library remains valid and is more adequate than the sheer number of volumes would imply.

(3) Clinical facilities

The student clinic at the Seattle College building has adequate facilities and modalities for all of naturopathic practice except obstetrics. Space is limited, however, to four students working there at any given time; students therefore rotate between days in the clinic and externships in various professional offices within the greater Seattle area, on an assigned, pre-arranged basis, according to student needs and preferences.

e. Postgraduate education program

Formal postgraduate work offered by the National College of Naturopathic Medicine has been limited to instruction necessary for graduates of predecessor colleges (which required only 4000 hours of classroom teaching) to reach the 4400- to 4800-hour level now required for practice in many states. N.C.N.M. has not initiated course work toward the Ph.D. degree, nor residencies toward specialization, because of inadequate research facilities. The College is working presently on a program to equip Itself to offer a Ph.D. in nutrition.

Informal postgraduate educational work, to keep naturopathic practitioners abreast of developments in their own field, as well as in general medicine, includes:

(1) International and national association conventions

At least one 8-hour day during each such convention is devoted to discussion and consideration of recent developments in naturopathic science.

(2) Joint Northwest regional naturopathic conventions

Once a year, practitioners from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and other northwest areas convene in one of these states or provinces to share new knowledge. Speakers are also invited, from other professions (see appended 1968 N.N.P.C. program) to conduct seminars; usually 20 hours of each such meeting are devoted to professional postgraduate education.

(3) State meetings

Where there is an N.A.N.P.-affiliated state association, or where registries of practitioners are maintained, these formal or informal groups of naturopaths hold meetings at intervals which vary from state to state (but no less than once annually) during which at least one half-day is devoted to educational programs.

(4) Seminars

In the Pacific Northwest, the College in Seattle and area-wide local associations sponsor a monthly series of week-end professional education seminars. These seminars usually occupy all of Saturday afternoon and evening, and Sunday morning. They vary in content from simple demonstrations in the use or operation of new modalities (such as newer types of electrocardiographs, sphygmomanometers, electro-therapy apparatus, etc.) to technical training in such subjects as proctology, otolaryngology, obstetrics, etc.

Students of the National College of Naturopathic Medicine are, admitted to such seminars, but receive no course credits for attendance. The N.C.N.M does grant one-quarter-hour of post graduate course credit for attendance to those naturopaths who are currently also engaged in extensive and pre-arranged reading courses on the subject at hand.

Note: The current tendency among naturopathic licensing and regulatory boards is to seek legislation to make a required number of annual postgraduate study hours mandatory by law as a prerequisite to re-licensing. N.A.N.P. is encouraging not only expanded postgraduate education but the concept of making it mandatory for all practitioners. (See sample proposed Oregon law.)


Perhaps the early history of the now-dormant Sierra States University mentioned in IV.A.1. above portends the practical and probable direction of future naturopathic education.

Sierra States, chartered in California in 1921, maintained colleges in naturopathy, chiropractic, physical therapy, psychology, and allied subjects. During its existence in San Francisco, from 1921-1950 (it moved to Los Angeles in 1950, then to its present Santa Monica location), Sierra States graduated probably 1000 practitioners in the various healing arts for which it was authorized to issue degrees. During its 1950-1961 period in Los Angeles, Sierra States graduated 200 naturopath/chiropractors.

The National College of Naturopathic Medicine is suffering from a dearth of students -- as are many private liberal arts colleges and universities, and most private and public colleges and universities graduating allopathic physicians, optometrists, dentists, etc. Potential student interest in the healing arts is at the same low ebb among all health care professions. Student bodies are very often not commensurate with the size of the teaching facilities maintained to educate them. Recruiting must become more aggressive (see D. to follow).

Our point is that It may now be apropos for increased mergers of various colleges and universities currently devoted to single arms of the healing arts, into more workable, economically feasible teaching entities.

To that end, naturopathy is conducting inquiries among private liberal arts, business, theological, and health care-dedicated Pacific Northwest universities and colleges to determine their interest in merger with N.C.N.M. It would be premature to reveal the exact nature of these negotiations or the precise identities of the educational institutions involved.

It is hoped that such a resultant institution -- headquartered on one campus in either Oregon or Washington -- could and would serve students primarily from throughout the western United States and Canada, but affording equal entree to students from the remainder of the U.S. and Canada.

N.C.N.M. foresees no drastic changes in its current curricula, except for the addition of postgraduate courses leading to higher degrees than the N.D. (a merged university as described above, parenthetically, could take a student through his requisite pre-naturopathic undergraduate years to a B.S. or B.A. if he desired, then through an N.D. d9gree, and subsequently through an M.S. or Ph.D. degree -- on one campus).

Obviously it follows that, if postgraduate-level education is achievable on the basis described above, massively increased naturopathic research will follow, utilizing the clinical and laboratory facilities which must attend postgraduate teaching and which do not now exist in adequate proportion at N.C.N.M.

Merger or not, N.C.N.M. plans -- as described in IV.A.3.d. above -- to increase the physical size of its laboratory-clinic space in the near future, and plans to strengthen its postgraduate curricula. The moves in several states to make postgraduate education mandatory (as described in IV.A.3.e.(4). above) can work to the benefit of N.C.N.M., which is the most logical entity to devise continuous postgraduate educational courses, provide the faculty to teach them, and to sponsor and conduct such classes wherever and whenever they are taught increasing the breadth of Its undergraduate curriculum, its faculty's prowess, its income, and its general financial and professional stability.

Specific areas of curriculum change are difficult to forecast. The governing bodies of N.C.N.M. foresee increased stress upon the academies of diagnosis and treatment which are concerned with geriatrics and gerontology, and, conversely, with pediatrics. Diseases affecting both the elderly and the very young are receiving primary research attention from America's healing arts today. Application of that research, to both prolong life and nurture new life, must occupy naturopathy's concern to an extent commensurate with that of allied health care professions.

Increased curricular stress upon chemistry and its multi-phases is also called for as medications grow more sophisticated (and potentially dangerous in some cases); increased attention to radiography and the effects or countering of .radiation will likewise demand more curricular attention.

Naturopathy's most basic educational theses will become increasingly focused upon practical in-office, in-clinic, or in-home experience. Medicine's trend today, which naturopathy supports, is reversion to the "general practitioner" concept of healing -- putting theoretical teaching in a less commanding perspective, in favor of "bedside psychology" and its person-to-person emphasis.


Sierra States University, heretofore mentioned, and the Institut de Naturopathie du Quebec, have either not been appreciably operative since 1960--in the former instance, or the N.A.N.P. does not possess by-year enrollment statistics. in the latter case.

Here are data for the National College of Naturopathic Medicine:

Student capacity in (actual enrollment) :

Number of graduates in:


N.C.N.M. has -- with obviously adverse effect upon its enrollment over the years -- let naturopathy's inducements virtually speak for themselves, through the mouths of zealot practitioners, when and where a convenient time to proselyte has arisen.

This almost tacit course of action cannot continue, as all other health care educators have found.

Therefore N.A.N.P. is embarking now, with and for N.C.N.M.'s aid and benefit, upon a program of distributing literature describing this profession, its educational facilities, and its prospects economically and socially as a career, to high school students, through their vocational counselors, local employment services, and faculty members teaching high school science courses.

Naturopaths are beginning to take advantage of "Business-Education Days" and/or "Career Days", in which high school students visit business or professional offices or plants, in fields in which they have expressed even tentative interest, to obtain exposure to these professions and analyze their career potentials.

Catalogs (as the appended N.C.N.M. course catalog), and pamphlets (as the appended "Brief Respecting Naturopathy in the United States"), and other literature documenting median practitioner income, areas where practitioners are especially needed, etc., are in the planning stage now by N.A.N.P. and N.C.N.M.

Special student tours to N.C.N.M. are being planned also, for the Pacific Northwest area, under N.A.N.P. auspices. Outside this geographic area, individual practitioners will be given kits of informational materials for direct contact with vocational counselors or for classroom or in-office presentations to students.

It is hoped, naturally, that federal aid can be obtained in time on the same basis that the Congress has dispensed aid to other health-care professions for building, research, short- and long-term student loans, and other operational costs, to assist naturopathy in its new recruiting program.

Index ||| Part I, II, III, V
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