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In general, (at least in AZ) an N.D. can do anything an M.D. can do plus more. By this I mean they can prescribe drugs. But that isn't their goal. Their goal is to help you activate your body's own healing ability. This can be through nutrition counseling, lifestyle counseling, supplements, homeopathy, acupuncture or physical manipulation. I'm sure there's other modalities that I'm forgetting.

Like other physicians, they usually specialize in one area or another. And how they charge varies.

We found ours through a friend. She has a women and children practice and I use her mostly as a pediatrician. (She used to include midwifery in her practice, but now refers that out because she didn't like the hours!) We see her for all my daughter's well-baby visits and I call her in the middle of the night for advice if my baby gets that sick. She supports my decision not to vax and supports extended nursing. I pay her out-of-pocket for each visit. I could try to sumbit these to my insurance for reimbursement, but I haven't.

I think the best way to find a good one is to just ask around your area. Then schedule a consultation and see how you feel about him or her and decide if their scope of practice includes what you need. If you have a naturopathic clinic in your area, you could start there. This would give you access to many drs with different specialties.

I love having an N.D. Good luck in finding one if that's what you decide would be best for you!
 

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I see a naturopathic doctor for wellness care and ongoing autoimmune issues for myself and our son sees a naturopathic doctor for wellness and his current weight gain issue. His naturopath recommended we see a pediatric physician when we first found out about the slow weight gain just so we could rule out serious physiological anomalies.

My reason for choosing a naturopath for myself is their focus on creating health as opposed to treating symptoms of illness. My partner and I chose a naturopath as our primary care provider for our son for the same reasons. Our son's naturopath gave us her pager number to use if we have concerns when she is not in the office. In Oregon, naturopaths can prescribe many medications but there are some that are not listed on their formulary. Our son's naturopath does not offer vaccines and immunizations, but I'm not sure if that because of licensure requirements or her personal choice.

Another reason I like seeing a naturopath as opposed to an allopathic physician, i.e. MD or DO, is that they generally take a lot of time in appointments with their clients, sometimes an hour or more and especially in a initial visit. Their knowledge of various modalities of creating health and wellness is quite wide-ranging, and their focus on nutrition and getting to a root cause of illness is a fresh change from the allopathic focus of pharmaceutical treatment of symptoms.

As for finding a naturopath, ask around. Ask friends. Visit some local health food stores to see if there are any business cards or flyers posted. Ask mamas at a playgroup or a La Leche League meeting. Look in the phone book and call up a few and ask what a typical initial visit would consist of.

I used to pay out-of-pocket for my naturopathic visits, but now we have a cool new insurance program through my partner's work that allows us to use any licensed provider and get reimbursed. We even got reimbursed for our son's homebirth.

Hope that gives you a little more info!

warmly,
claudia
 
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