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If you don’t already know this, there is a lot of deception in medicine, however, we are only going to talk about credentials today. So, here goes.
A little over 2 years ago I started to do research on becoming a naturopathic doctor. It has been a dream of mine to be a doctor, but at my age now, it didn’t really seem feasible. Well, there are plenty of online schools offering that title so I decided to check it out! What I didn’t realize at the time was that most of these schools, if not all are not regionally or nationally accredited. What that means is that they are not recognized by any education body except their own. You can’t get financial aid for them, you can’t get student loans or even transfer credits from these institutions into a college or university because they are not technically “real” schools in the sense that our government recognizes them as anything. You don't even need to apply, just pay the fee and start working online.
What people don’t realize is that what these flashy “diplomas” and fancy school names are doing is making the person you are trusting with your health look like something they are not. In accredited colleges and universities they have a strict standard of education. Their classes and offerings need to be approved by these accreditation agencies to make sure you are coming out of that class understanding and knowing a certain amount of information. These other schools don’t need that because they are not accredited. So when you attend them, which is 99% of the time online and at your own pace, how do you even know that you are getting a curriculum written for you that you are going to understand and be able to use to further your career? Simply put, you don’t.
I attended the online school called, Trinity School of Natural Health. I knew it wasn’t going to be anything more than knowledge that was going to further my understanding of simple things. It was very introductory, which was fine because I came out of that school knowing I wanted to be a homeopath. My problem with this school and schools like it is that they are touting themselves as “accredited” institutions when they are not. Yes they may be accredited with board certifications that are coming from a paper mill, but that is their only form of accreditation. Their accreditation means NOTHING.
I see many of my “friends” who have “graduated” from this school, or schools like it calling themselves DOCTOR. We earned a diploma as a Naturopathic Doctor, we don’t have the legal right to call ourselves anything of the sort. In this article I found written by attorney, Richard Jaffee, Esq. He states:
“Naturopathy has been around since the 19th century, originating in Europe. By the 1930’s Naturopathy was popular enough to make it into the US Department of Labor’s listing of professions. There are now seventeen states (and DC and territories of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands) which have licensed naturopaths. However, all of these states only license naturopaths who have graduated from a four year residential naturopathic medical college. There are only three such accredited colleges in the United States.”
Well, actually, there are now 7 accredited colleges in the US where you are legally able to call yourself a naturopathic doctor after graduating. To learn more about them check out my blog What’s In A Title?
He goes on to say:
“I believe that at this time, most of the naturopaths in business today are not graduates of the few accredited naturopathic medical colleges, but instead have taken a distance learning or correspondence courses from one of the many naturopathic learning centers. Most of these centers confer or attempt to confer a “naturopathic doctor” or “naturopathic medical doctor” degree. One of the problems with this type of degree is that some states prohibit an individual from calling him/herself a “doctor” unless they have graduated from a federal or regionally accredited school, and none of these distance learning centers have such accreditation.” While many states don’t have a law in place stating that you can’t call yourself a doctor if you didn’t graduate from one of these 7 accredited schools, that doesn’t mean you are out of the woods.
“It is my view that no graduate of a distance learning center should call himself a “doctor,” “naturopathic doctor” “naturopathic medical doctor” “ND”, “NMD” or anything which connotes or implies that the person is a doctor or physician. My position is not completely based on ethical or moralistic considerations. It makes investigators and prosecutors see red when they get a complaint about a “Naturopathic Doctor” and they find out that the target has a “mail order degree.” Calling yourself a “doctor” rather than a naturopath might be the difference between a prosecution and an investigator simply throwing away the complaint. So my advice to the unlicensed holder of a distance learning naturopathic certificate is to call yourself a “Naturopath.”
There have been numerous state and federal criminal cases against “naturopathic doctors” over the last dozen years. Usually the practitioners make a variety of unwise decisions, first and foremost calling themselves a “doctor” or an “ND.” For some reason, most of these folks also wear white lab coats with their name stitched on with the “Dr.” moniker and the “ND” or “NMD” at the end. Makes the prosecutors see red.”
“The other area which gets naturopaths into trouble is overselling supplements and herbs as a result of interro, electro-dermal, or electro-acupuncture testing devices which supposedly can diagnose “tendencies to” cancer and other diseases before there is any conventional objective test or clinical evidence of such disease. All of these devices are considered illegal by the FDA.”
You are not safe to call yourself a doctor if you didn’t earn that title from an accredited school. Even if your state is one that is not legally binding you by the title, you can still be arrested, prosecuted and jailed all because of ego.
Yesterday I was pulled into a conversation regarding a woman from a southern state who took her 4yo to see a Naturopathic doctor in her state. Her little boy was bit by a tick so she was concerned about Lyme disease. This is the bio of the person she saw
“has been actively working in the field of alternative healthcare since 2005. She began by attending Everglades University, graduating Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. in Alternative Medicine. She then became a Certified Wellness Coach through The International Association of Wellness Professionals. Most recently, earned her Doctorate of Traditional Naturopathy (ND) from New Eden School of Natural Health…”
Remember my list of accredited schools? New Eden is not on that list. The mom stated, “they had my son hold 2 brass things and she said it gives off energy signals and then sends them back to see what's bothering the body? She was able to say he has a slight vitamin D deficiency, dairy and soy intolerances, and some of the bacteria that causes Lyme showed up?”
Above the attorney states that these devices are illegal. Not only that, but an educated person is going to use their education to figure out what is wrong, they are not going to rely on a pre-programmed machine of supplements to “scan” your body and see which supplement you need. Medicine doesn’t work like that. The machine is only as good as the software and the person using it. In addition, how is scanning your body with a machine that is programmed for supplements going to understand what your body needs? I know a lot of people who use their intuition to help them work with people, but that isn’t what we are talking about here. This poor woman walked about with this protocol and $322 less in her checking account.
There is no crime in being truthful about your education and who you are. It is a crime to impersonate someone you are not. To those of you looking for someone in alternative medicine, please do your due diligence. Check credentials, do you research, ask questions. This is your life, your health and your ability to heal that we are talking about. No one is going to fault you for asking, if they do, RUN! RUN FAR AWAY because there is a reason they are hiding that from you.
In my opinion, this is the worst form of deception. You are preying on the sick to further yourself financially. Should you have any questions or comments, please send them to me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope this helps you weed out the real doctors from the fake ones. I believe there are a lot of alternative medicine practitioners out there that can help us, we don’t always need a medical doctor. However, finding a legitimate person is getting harder and harder.
Love and light,