University of Western States Launches Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine Program 

The new graduate program of professional study features a whole-person, individualized approach to health and well-being, integrating principles of naturopathic medicine and functional medicine. 

University of Western States (UWS), an independent, non-profit health sciences university serving Portland since 1904, is expanding its robust academic offerings with a new Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (NMD) degree program.

The UWS NMD program champions a whole-person and individualized approach to health and well-being. The integration of functional medicine principles distinguishes this curriculum from other naturopathic medicine programs.

Dr. Marcia Prenguber, dean of the College of Naturopathic Medicine at UWS

“Our new naturopathic medicine program is extremely exciting for the university, the Portland-area, and our healthcare community,” said Dr. Marcia Prenguber, naturopathic physician, fellow of the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology, and dean of the College of Naturopathic Medicine at UWS. “Offering a whole-person approach to medicine, our NMD program is designed to train future physicians in evidence-informed natural health care while addressing the body, mind and spirit, integrating the principles of functional medicine.”

An evidence-informed, patient-centered approach

Naturopathic medicine and functional medicine are evidence-informed, patient-centered approaches to achieving and maintaining health by optimizing function and addressing root causes of dysfunction, not just suppressing symptoms. Functional medicine’s focus on biochemical and genetic individuality, and the diet, lifestyle, and nutrition of each patient, integrates well with the full range of assessments and treatment modalities of naturopathic medicine.

Increased demand and shortage of primary care physicians predicted

“Doctors of naturopathic medicine are trained as primary care physicians and have established the primary care designation in a number of jurisdictions,” said Prenguber. “The need for whole-person primary care services will continue to rise. University of Western States is uniquely positioned for integration and collaboration with our new and established programs.”

Learn more about naturopathic medicine and career pathways here. 

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) projects a shortage of between 21,100 and 55,200 primary care physicians by 2032. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the number of persons over age 65 will increase by 48% by that same year, driving the demand for primary care. In addition, census data indicate that one-third of all currently active doctors will at retirement stage as the population ages. 


A community of learning

The UWS NMD program is a 14-quarter doctoral curriculum, taught year-round. Students can complete the program in three and a half calendar years. UWS will deliver the NMD program at its vibrant, state-of-the-art campus in Northeast Portland. The curriculum includes anatomy, physiology, pathology, clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, physical medicine, and pharmacology to provide graduates with a broad array of modalities and procedures for the clinical care of patients. The course of study is offered in hybrid format that embodies a community of learning through synchronous online delivery and in-person teaching, with clinical competencies reinforced through in-person laboratory experiences.

Visit the UWS naturopathic medicine website to learn more.