Eliot Edwards, ND, FABNO
Naturopathic oncology providers at CTCA have been proud to be a part of the first ever week recognizing the role of naturopathic medicine in health care.
The U.S. Senate last month unanimously passed a resolution designating Oct. 7-13 as National Naturopathic Medicine Week. It was the first time a legislative branch of the federal government has directly acknowledged and supported naturopathic medicine — even though the U.S. Department of Education has recognized naturopathic medical education for decades.
The resolution recognizes the value of naturopathic medicine in providing "safe, effective and affordable health care" and encourages Americans “to learn about naturopathic medicine and the role that naturopathic physicians play in preventing chronic and debilitating conditions.”
Passage of this resolution was a historic achievement for naturopathic medicine. The Senate finally has recognized the important role naturopathic medicine plays in addressing the nation's health care needs, as well as addressing the severe shortage of primary care physicians.
As a Naturopathic Oncology Provider working at CTCA, I am honored to be a part of our integrative approach to oncology care. We educate people every day on what naturopathic medicine is and how it can be incorporated safely into their treatment to:
- Prevent herb-drug-nutrient interactions
- Manage side effects of treatment
- Improve quality of life
Naturopathic Medicine Week provides another opportunity for naturopathic providers, educators and patients to come together to educate our communities on the benefits of naturopathic medicine. It is important for people to understand that our education includes four years of undergraduate studies, including pre-medical sciences, four years of education at an accredited naturopathic medical school, followed by licensing exams in certain states.
After several years of practice, providers with a doctorate in naturopathic medicine can take the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology exam to achieve fellowship status in Naturopathic Oncology.
Currently, 17 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands license naturopathic doctors to practice. There are efforts for active licensing in another 10 states.
For the first time, the Naturopathic Medicine Department at CTCA outside Chicago had events all week to celebrate National Naturopathic Medicine Week.
I believe the need for preventive care and holistic approaches to wellness are essential to improving the health of our country. Naturopathic Medicine Week was a great opportunity to celebrate the role of naturopathic providers in health care.
Learn more about naturopathic medicine at CTCA.