What is Naturopathic Primary Care?

Principals | Qualities | Therapeutic Order

Naturopathic Primary Care is Community-Based Medicine

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has developed a commonly accepted definition of primary care: “Primary care is the provision of integrated, accessible health care services by clinicians who are accountable for addressing a large majority of personal health care needs, developing a sustained partnership with patients, and practicing in the context of family and community.” (IOM, 1996) 

Who better understands these concepts than naturopathic physicians? Naturopathic physicians for years have worked cooperatively with other physicians, have been extensively trained in community-based practices, and have focused on the integration of education and the rational use of effective therapeutics. (ACCAHC, 2013) 

Naturopathic Primary Care Physicians (NPCPs) are committed to being accessible and accountable to their patients and the medical community as a whole. They are able to offer their patients up-to-date information on available and appropriate screening for the prevention of disease. They are also well-equipped to screen for, diagnose and treat chronic conditions and diseases. Both preventative care and treatment of chronic diseases require the diligent use of appropriate diagnostic measures. This includes the timely use of detailed physical exams, which may lead to triage or treatment, depending on presentation and degree of pathology. NPCPs are competent in the administration of vaccinations and up-to-date on Public Health policies, both local and national. They are above all focused on patient education, providing patients with the opportunity to understand causality, measures for treatment, and informed consent. NPCPs have the ability to triage a patient’s care with consulting medical providers, and collaborate successfully with these providers through the exchange of continuity of care records.

Naturopathic medicine is ideally suited to address healthcare needs because it is soundly and safely based upon both the objective observation of the nature of health and disease, while encouraging the body’s inherent self-healing process. The Naturopathic Principles which guide this observation, and in turn guide treatment, are continually reexamined in the light of scientific advances.(Standards Paper, 2011)

 

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Naturopathic principles

 

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