What's It Like To Be A Naturopathic Doctor?

by Julie Tran

This chapter is a free excerpt from The Best Book on Naturopathy.

Highlights

  • In collaborative practices, naturopathic doctors share the same patients and have access to the same information.
  • Building a solid client base may take a few years.
  • Salaries vary widely between ND's. Those with established client bases can make hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.

4 Types Of ND Practices

1. Independent Practitioners

Some naturopathic doctors have their own practices. They have an office where patients come to see them.

Complete 10-second survey to read full article!

Highlights

  • In collaborative practices, naturopathic doctors share the same patients and have access to the same information.
  • Building a solid client base may take a few years.
  • Salaries vary widely between ND's. Those with established client bases can make hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.

4 Types Of ND Practices

1. Independent Practitioners

Some naturopathic doctors have their own practices. They have an office where patients come to see them.

2. Collaborative Practitioners

A group of naturopathic doctors sometimes join to form a collaborative. They share the same patients. A patient might see different doctors depending on the day he or she has an appointment. Because they work together, all the doctors have to pool information and keep each other updated on the status of the patients.

These doctors have to tell each other what the patient was complaining about, what the follow-up treatment should be, and how the symptoms were affected by the treatment.

Collaborative practices are best for naturopathic doctors with excellent communication skills and cooperative spirits.

3. Clinical Practitioners

Naturopathic doctors can also work in clinics. Some work in hospitals or cancer treatment centers where there is an integrated or complementary alternative medicine wing.

4. Researchers

Some naturopathic doctors choose not to see patients and focus on research instead.

4 Ideas For Building A Client Base

1. Word of Mouth

People talk. Your best marketing resources are just a phone call (or Facebook message) away. Enlist your friends and family to refer potential patients to you. Once you have a few faithful patients, they’ll start referring their own friends and family to you.

2. American Association Of Naturopathic Physicians Directory

Join the AANP, and you can request to list your name in their “Find A Doctor” database. Potential patients can find you by name, area of emphasis, state, or country.

3. Use The Web

Put an ad on Yelp. Start a website. Make a Facebook Page for your practice.

4. Newspaper Ads

Don’t forget about old school advertising! You might reach an older demographic with the standard newspaper classified.

Working Hours For A Naturopathic Doctor

Any independent practitioner or collaborative practitioner can set his or her own schedule. Clinical doctors will obviously need to adhere to the hospital schedule and won’t be given the same freedom.

Naturopathic doctors often try to be accommodating to their patients’ schedules. They might have evening hours (5, 6, or 7 pm) for patients who work. Some also see patients on the weekends, or they might take half-days on Saturdays.

Salary Potential

Here’s the caveat: Money should never be your prime motivation. This is true for any healthcare profession, and it’s true for naturopathic medicine. You can, however, make a steady income with naturopathy.

The first few years will be very tough. You probably won’t make much money, and you might not break even. At the beginning, you’re building a client base, paying off student debt, and shelling out money for your new practice. Hang in there! After a few years, you’ll start to see some monetary compensation for your labors.

On the low end, an ND might make 30 to 40K a year. On the high end, the sky is the limit! I know one ND who makes 400K a year. It’s all about building your client base. Do you have a specialty? Can you do something that no other naturopathic doctor does?

Dr. Peter D’Adamo is one of the most famous examples of a successful naturopathic doctor. He gained acclaim for his book, Eat Right 4 Your Type. He has patients who come from all over the world to see him. His patients schedule their vacation time around his appointment availability.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are NDs who don’t care about money at all. They truly just want to help people find the best treatment for their bodies. They may conduct their business through barter service. For example, they might say, “I’ll give you an acupuncture treatment, and next time I need a massage, I’ll come to you.”

As a naturopathic doctor, you have countless options for building your practice. Do you want to work with other doctors or alone? Do you want to build an international clientele or stay local? The choice is yours.
Price: $5.99 Add to Cart
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • 100% refund
  • Free updates