In a battle reminiscent of when the American Medical Association tried its damnest to keep down chiropractors and osteopathic physicians, California legislators are considering legislation to increase prescription-writing and and other privileges for naturopathic physicians, says this story from MedPage Today’s Joyce Frieden.
The Web Web site of the California Naturopathic Doctors Association (CNDA) says: “The training consists of comprehensive study of the conventional medical sciences, including anatomy, physiology, pathology, microbiology, immunology, clinical and physical diagnosis, laboratory diagnosis, cardiology, gastroenterology, gynecology, etc., as well as detailed study of a wide variety of natural therapies.”
But ND’s do not receive any residency training.
When ND’s were first licensed in California, in 2003, they got restricted licenses making them supervised by MD’s or DO’s when writing prescriptions. That restriction “was put in place as a temporary measure to allow a regulatory subcommittee to determine what the independent formulary for naturopathic doctors should be,” the association told MedPage Today.
The ND association has argued that the restriction severely and unfairly limits ND’s’ ability to practice because most MD’s and DO’s don’t want to supervise ND’s so that the ND’s can prescribe for their patients. The organization says: “This restriction places significant limitations on ND’s … who have extensive didactic, practical, and continuing education training in conventional pharmacology,” the association said.
ND’s don’t get paid as much as MD’s or DO’s. So understandably MD’s, in particular, fear losing business to cheaper competitors. MD’s already fear growing competition from nurse practitioners and physician assistants.