What does a Naturopathic Physician do?
Diagnose, treat, and help prevent diseases using a system of practice that is based on the natural healing capacity of individuals. May use physiological, psychological or mechanical methods. May also use natural medicines, prescription or legend drugs, foods, herbs, or other natural remedies.
- Perform mobilizations and high-velocity adjustments to joints or soft tissues, using principles of massage, stretching, or resistance.
- Maintain professional development through activities such as post-graduate education, continuing education, preceptorships, and residency programs.
- Order diagnostic imaging procedures such as radiographs (x-rays), ultrasounds, mammograms, and bone densitometry tests, or refer patients to other health professionals for these procedures.
- Administer treatments or therapies, such as homeopathy, hydrotherapy, Oriental or Ayurvedic medicine, electrotherapy and diathermy, using physical agents including air, heat, cold, water, sound, or ultraviolet light to catalyze the body to heal itself.
- Administer, dispense, or prescribe natural medicines such as food or botanical extracts, herbs, dietary supplements, vitamins, nutraceuticals, and amino acids.
- Conduct physical examinations and physiological function tests for diagnostic purposes.
- Interview patients to document symptoms and health histories.
- Educate patients about health care management.
- Advise patients about therapeutic exercise and nutritional medicine regimens.
- Diagnose health conditions based on patients' symptoms and health histories, laboratory and diagnostic radiology test results, or other physiological measurements, such as electrocardiograms and electroencephalographs.
- Perform venipuncture or skin pricking to collect blood samples.
- Treat minor cuts, abrasions, or contusions.
- Prescribe synthetic drugs under the supervision of medical doctors or within the allowances of regulatory bodies.
- Document patients' histories, including identifying data, chief complaints, illnesses, previous medical or family histories, or psychosocial characteristics.
- Perform minor surgical procedures, such as removing warts, moles, or cysts, sampling tissues for skin cancer or lipomas, and applying or removing sutures.
- Consult with other health professionals to provide optimal patient care, referring patients to traditional health care professionals as necessary.
- Report patterns of patients' health conditions, such as disease status and births, to public health agencies.
- Monitor updates from public health agencies to keep abreast of health trends.
- Conduct periodic public health maintenance activities such as immunizations and screenings for diseases and disease risk factors.
- Obtain medical records from previous physicians or other health care providers for the purpose of patient evaluation.