The doctor of naturopathic medicine degree (NMD) is a 14 quarter program that trains students in the art and science of naturopathic health care. The program prepares students to serve as primary care physicians adept at applying naturopathic principles to the diagnostic tools and treatment approaches used in health care, with an additional focus on functional medicine.
The curriculum is designed to support student progression from mastering the scientific foundations involved in physiology and pathology, to hands-on clinical training. Coursework is structured to prepare students to be successful in passing the NPLEX licensing boards, and the licensing exams offered in each jurisdiction.
View a sample of the curriculum here (subject to change.)
UWS continues to design and refine our curriculum in accordance with the best practices for doctor of naturopathic education. Updates and expansions to the curriculum will continue over the course of the next year.
The UWS doctor of naturopathic medicine (NMD) program prepares students to take a holistic and individualized approach to health and healing. To learn this approach and become skilled in providing individualized, comprehensive and evidence-based care, students engage in the following coursework throughout the program:
- Philosophy and principles of naturopathic medicine
- Basic sciences
- Foundations of functional medicine
- Clinical, physical and laboratory diagnosis
- Environmental medicine
- Therapeutic modalities including botanical medicine, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, minor surgery, mind/body medicine, stress reduction therapies, injections and intravenous therapy and physical therapeutic procedures and modalities, including articular mobilization and manipulation, myofascial and soft tissue therapy.
DELIVERY MODEL AND PROGRAM SEQUENCE
The NMD program is comprised of four academic years of study. Students are enrolled year-round in the program with two-week breaks between quarters. The NMD program consists of didactic courses that foster a community of learning through both online and in-person experiences. Knowledge, skills and community are fostered and reinforced via in-person labs.
The first year of the program focuses on the basic sciences that are the foundation of medicine – anatomy, physiology, pathology, microbiology and immunology. The first year also includes an overview of the history and philosophy of naturopathic medicine, training in clinical skills and the tools needed to review and conduct research in evidence-informed practice.
The second year of the program builds on the basic sciences of the first year, with additional training in diagnosis based on clinical, physical and laboratory information. Courses in nutrition and botanical medicine begin in quarter four, as do laboratory diagnosis, diagnostic imaging, and physical exam application and interpretation.
System-specific courses such as cardiovascular and pulmonary health, gastroenterology, and endocrinology are found throughout years two and three. In quarter seven students start clinical rotations, observing and learning clinical processes and procedures, as well as diagnostic and treatment approaches.
Physical medicine, mental/emotional and behavioral medicine assessment and treatment tools start in year three, as does pharmacology, the study of pediatrics, rheumatology, cancer diagnosis and supportive care. The study of homeopathy begins in quarter nine. Clinical rotations continue. Starting in quarter eleven and continuing through graduation, students progress to the role of primary student clinician. Under the supervision of a licensed naturopathic physician, students hone their skills in assessing, diagnosing, and developing treatment plans for patients. Courses include studies in broad topics such as public health and environmental medicine, while business practice courses focus on topics such as entrepreneurship.
Program Outcome 1: Formulate a diagnosis based on a complete and accurate history, physical exam and objective assessment.
Program Outcome 2: Evaluate the impact of personal and institutional biases and stereotypes on health care and clinical decision-making.
Program Outcome 3: Apply the philosophy and core principles of naturopathic medicine in the practice of naturopathic medicine.
Program Outcome 4: Apply the tools and strategies of functional medicine in the clinical setting.
Program Outcome 5: Use the various naturopathic modalities, to manage health and promote disease prevention.
Program Outcome 6: Provide personalized, compassionate, ethical, holistic patient care.
Program Outcome 7: Critically summarize existing information regarding immunization and vaccine preventable diseases.
Program Outcome 8: Effectively communicate, consulting and collaborating with other health professionals.
Program Outcome 9: Exhibits ethical professional behavior, including limitations in expertise.
Program Outcome 10: Operate within the jurisdictional scope of practice, referring patients when appropriate.
Program Outcome 11: Develop a viable career plan, with an ethical business model, with the requisite skills.
Program Outcome 12: Advocate for the developing role of naturopathic medicine within health care systems.
Program Outcome 13: Critically evaluate current health-related evidence-informed research.
Students are encouraged to check the library catalog for electronic versions of required and recommended textbooks before purchasing. The library carries a few copies all of the required and recommended textbooks in print and has been able to obtain electronic versions of many textbooks for all programs at UWS, saving students hundreds of dollars per term. To purchase books, please visit the UWS campus store. The NMD program requires specific professional resources in addition to course textbooks. These are included on the textbook list, with additional information about where to purchase them if not available through the UWS campus store.
Find the NMD textbook list here (available soon).
Naturopathic Program Milestones
- Foundational courses in the basic sciences prepare students for the medical/clinical science courses to follow.
- Students have the opportunity for tutoring starting in Q1.
- Students continue with foundational courses while transitioning to diagnostic and therapeutic courses.
- Students who have yet to complete a bachelor’s degree will complete a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology in Q5.
- In Q6 students take the clinic entrance exam.
- Upon successful completion of courses in Q6, students are eligible to take the NPLEX Part I exams.
- Starting in Q9 there is a greater focus in systems courses, such as endocrinology, dermatology, oncology, rheumatology and EENT.
- Treatment modalities will also be a focus starting in Q9, such as homeopathy and pharmacology, including IV therapy.
- Students participate in clinical rotations as observers.
- Students are in clinical rotations as primary student clinicians, addressing the needs of patient primary care needs, women’s health needs, pediatrics, and other specialty needs and modalities.
- Several courses focus on entrepreneurship and business practices.
- In Q14 students take clinic exit exams and submit their IFM Case Report.