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Mackinac Center for Public Policy
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2012 House Bill 5594: Impose licensure on “naturopathic physicians”
  1. Introduced by Rep. Lisa Lyons (R) on May 3, 2012, to impose licensure and regulation on “naturopathic physicians,” with license fees, education requirements, and more. The bill defines “naturopathic” medicine as “a system of practice that is based on the natural healing capacity of individuals”.
    • Referred to the House Health Policy Committee on May 3, 2012.


Re: 2012 House Bill 5594 (Impose licensure on “naturopathic physicians” )  by marylight on November 13, 2012 
It was a relief , for the time being ( I am sure they will return again and try to pass their bill- they have never shown any sign of compromise, in fact this bill is quite Draconian) - and all the more due to the efforts we put into it- calling reps, setting up appointments, sending letters and e mails.

If you, Robbing Peter, are connected to the traditional naturopath community, we - the American Naturopaths Association and also the related Michigan community of active traditional naturopaths - would invite you to help us, contact us- get into our list for activist assistance. And , of course, support the ANA with your membership - your membership in our cause, which is your cause, is always welcome ! www.americannaturopathsassociation.org

I also wish to make a suggestion to all readers and those who post- please feel free to use your actual name and any credentials. There is no reason for us to hide behind assumed names- in fact, it is all the more powerful for all of us to come forward, celebrating our identities. That is more than half of what this struggle is about.

Sincere Regards,

Mary Light, ND MH, LMT

Re: 2012 House Bill 5594 (Impose licensure on “naturopathic physicians” )  by marylight on November 12, 2012 

I appreciate you taking the time to not only weigh in with a perspective, but to offer a compromise of sorts. In order that any future readers may be able to take all of our remarks in context, my answer is as follows: The issue as we see it, is that we ARE naturopathic doctors, just not medical doctors- nor to we wish to be medical doctors. We are not physicians "assistants"- we are actually natural physicians.

That is our identity. It will continue to evolve as our identity.

We don't train for the NPLEX - we train for our own exams.

And while I fully agree that the medical naturopaths should find another credential- NMD seems suitable and is already used through Schools in Arizona, for example- most of us - thousands of us- are already using the designation ND and have no real reason to relinquish it, particularly at this time of accelerating awareness and traditional naturopathy practice. Skill and Competency continues to evolve and be of great importance to our profession. It wasn't that long ago that medical doctors lacked associations, standards, and used barbaric methods, and nurses too had to organize and evolve to gain the credibility they have. We have it too- and we will have much more of it in the future, just as they were confident they would.

I do realize that what you are suggesting has been done (at least the NP designation part) in other states- perhaps California comes to mind as accepting this designation, although I do not think they accepted all of these terms you describe, for I have checked practitioners websites over the years. I do feel this is a real sell-out as well.

Public Health is not at risk with our practices, as we do not diagnose allopathic medical diseases , nor do we intrusively "treat" them. We do not, for example, wish to prescribe drugs or perform surgery as many medical "naturopaths" wish to do- and have expressed in our presence that they wish to do. As medical naturopaths take pains to point out, we educate and counsel first- although in their propaganda they infer that that is all we do. We also assess, provide naturopathic physical medicine, provide healing protocols and plans, follow up, and work through numerous recognized modalities.

Our compromise : to abolish ALL LANGUAGE in ANY MEDICAL NATUROPATHIC licensure bills which would discredit traditional naturopaths and their practices, by inferring that because we follow OUR CODE , and not THEIR CODE, we are somehow second class citizens and lower level practitioners. Your compromise - to suggest we "apprentice under" someone who doesn't even share our training, our values, and our essential classical education and health care model- makes no sense.

It is true that the intent of THE BILL strips many traditional naturopaths of their long standing rights and place within the economic and professional social order. It is also true that we will continue to oppose such bills and educate the public about the reality of our evolving profession. I remember hearing one medical naturopath proudly say her profession "was not evolving"- distressing though that is, I now see them calling themselves "traditional " naturopaths- that seems like a bit of backhanded evolution to me .

Re: 2012 House Bill 5594 (Impose licensure on “naturopathic physicians” )  by norbertjj on November 12, 2012 

 I have been licensed/Registered as a Naturopath since 1997 in the District of Columbia and now in North Carolina (Privilege License). I am also an acknowledged Tribal Medicine Practitioner by the ONAC Native American Church. I have regionally accredited training in the Health Sciences as well as Natural Health. Further I have military experience in various occupations of Patient Care, Behavioral Science, and other Medical Specialties from 1970-1993. That being stated, I did not receive the [qualified] training as required by this legislation and therefore would be prohibited from practice in a state that [did not provide] the educational opportunities in the field of Naturopathy within an accredited format. This Legislation discriminates against those who resided in and participated in STATE Licenced Institutions in favor of those Migrating to the state, non resident and attending out of state institutions. Within this legislation, there is a section that even implies a prohibition to one who has been or is currently training in Traditional Naturopathy (within State Licensed Institutions) from providing Sec. 17115. (C) (v) HEALTH EDUCATION OR HEALTH COUNSELING.

While I am supportive of Licensing for the purpose of Pubhlic Health and Safety, I believe that this legislation goes too far and tends to criminialize or punish those who elected to remain within the state and have practiced [prior] to the implementation of the law if passed. There exists [no] Grandfather Clause to protect those who would be displaced economically, educationally, and professionally. This legislation strips them of current used Titles of Profession by granting sole ownership to the [NEW] Board that of what has been used prior to the inception of the law, if approved. Titles such as "Naturopath", "Naturopathic Health Care","Naturopathy", and "N.D" currently in use in the State.

Proposal of Compromise: Create the Licensing Board to tend to "LICENSED Naturopathic Physicians and Doctors" with legal Letters of "N.M.D" under "(2) ...Titles, or Letters..." Create a sub catagory to establish a "REGISTERED Naturopath Health Care Practitioner" with a legal Letters of "N.H.C. (R)." The secondary catagory likened to that of a Physician Assistant, with an 18 month Internship under a Licensed N.M.D., after which, eligibility to sit for the NPLEX is granted for Part I & Part II. Professional Designation thereafter "CERTIFIED Naturopathic Practitioner" with legal letters of N.P. (C). This would offer a bridge program for those who are already providing professional services in Naturopathy. It does not discriminate through prohibiting one from current practice causing them to loose their employment, but rather, secures their employment and allows for a transition to equal standing based on competencies validated through the NPLEX. This is a Win-Win strategy that protects all parties while ensuring the Safety and Health of the Public throug a standard of educational and skill competencies.

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