April 16, 2003 (Sacramento, California) In an effort to break down the regulatory barriers that exist between California’s natural health advocates and the licensed medical providers on whom they rely for care, California Senate President pro-tem John Burton (D-San Francisco) has introduced legislation that would extend state licensure to naturopathic doctors (NDs). Burton’s bill, SB 907, would enable graduates of accredited doctoral-level naturopathic medical schools to practice to the full scope of their education and training, which includes the diagnosis and treatment of disease. If the bill is passed and signed into law, California would join its neighboring states in licensing NDs.
“California is a leader in the emerging natural healthcare field,” Burton said. “To continue prohibiting Californians from seeing qualified providers of natural healthcare and receiving the benefit of the services they provide just doesn’t make sense. Consumers deserve a range of quality healthcare options, and this bill helps make that happen.”
Naturopathic medicine is a patient-centered approach to healthcare that focuses on science-based lifestyle, nutritional, and botanical therapies. The four years of naturopathic medical education include basic medical sciences, such as anatomy, biochemistry, and pathophysiology, as well as the study and application of natural therapies, such as clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, physical medicine, and health counseling. The naturopathic approach is dedicated to health promotion and disease prevention, using the best of what both conventional and alternative medicine have to offer.
“This bill is a giant step forward in meeting the needs of Californians who have embraced a natural approach to health and wellness,” stated Holly Lucille, N.D., President of the California Association of Naturopathic Physicians (CANP). “Through licensure, naturopathic doctors across California would finally be able to practice to the full scope of their education and training,” she continued, “providing their patients with the very medicine which countless individuals across the state have been demanding for years.”
The bill is sponsored by the California Association of Naturopathic Physicians, which has launched a grassroots advocacy campaign to promote the bill and fight for its passage. For more information on the campaign, or to enlist in the CANP’s efforts to bring natural medicine to California, visit the campaign’s website at www.NaturalMedicineNow.org.