There's been a lot of confusion on what a Naturopath is, including what their training consists of.
Some conventional medical doctors (or publications) would have you believe that Naturopaths are tantamount to witch doctors. Or that they ineffectively treat people's diseases with herbs collected out of a garbage can. These misconceptions are not only false, they're misleading. Yet, it seems every year we have to continue to fight just to keep supplements available.
In my experience, the traditional MD isn't a bad person, they're however stuck within an authoritarian business model that's partly subject to or bedfellows with their authority associations, the Pharmaceutical industry and it's governmental lapdogs, such as the FDA. Yes, it's messy. There's a lot of politics, money and thus corruption that have entered that scene.
And though these entities are often positioned with the evil, authoritarian side of the health industry, they have their place in the world. For example, if one were to break their leg, it'd be smart to get it re-set and fixed up by the traditional medical model/industry. In other words I don't want to bash that industry or the people in it, as the majority of people there are good people that want to help. However, I've never been a big fan of any industry that claims to have the monopoly on healing, health or that prohibits or discourages effective alternative treatments. People SHOULD be free to decide how they go about treating their disease as well as be able to afford good healthcare (America is #1 in health care costs globally).
As a side note, a family member with prostate cancer was taking some specific supplements and had adopted some lifestyle changes I had suggested (and yes I told him to run everything by his doctor first, of which I heard back that the doctor said, "go ahead, probably won't help, but it can't hurt").
After 3 months of taking these supplements and incorporating the lifestyle changes, his PSA levels dropped by 2 points, from 6.5 to 4.5! He had no other treatment as he was "on hold" for the surgery for a few months. When he went back for a follow-up examination and testing, his traditional (MD) doctor was dumbfounded, as were the nurses. How can this be? Without radiation, with drugs, without scalpels! They were calling him the "miracle boy" (despite his advanced age).
Somewhere along the line though, he was convinced that the supplements were simply "masking" the cancer DESPITE the new PSA numbers (one of the recommended products is used in the cancer industry in Japan and is backed by clinical and scientific studies). This last point also illustrates the disparity between other countries and American "know best" when it comes to treating certain diseases such as cancer which is why we constantly hear about people having to go to other countries to treat their cancer.
They went ahead and did the operation, which as a side effect, has resulted in some urinary incontinence. Examples like this are what greatly annoys me about the face of the American (conventional) health care system.
Thus outside of aggressive and fast moving disease, I find a more holistic approach to have greater lasting effect most of the time. Such approaches are generally safer and more gentle on the body. Even if you remove by force, such things as cancer, by use of radiation, drugs or scalpels, doesn't mean you won't develop cancer again if you change nothing else. I'm not against people combining conventional WITH holistic, it just needs to be their decision and they should be informed of their treatment options.
Preventative medicine and adopting whole body strategies for better health is MUCH cheaper than say, open heart surgery or cancer drugs. It is also less painful. This is why education is so crucial to reversing the prevalence of disease in the 21st Century. Good health starts at home, by adopting such things as the Pyramid of Health and in understanding a bit more about nutrition and the impact of stress on our mind and body.
In this short video, Dr. Coke lays down the differences between an MD and ND.
Cited links from the video: