Oregon Naturopathic Doctors FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)*

Question: Can Naturopathic Doctors Prescribe Medications?
Answer: In Oregon, Naturopathic Doctors can and do prescribe medications and are issued an NPI number. That said, the philosophy of Naturopathic Doctors is to avoid prescribing drugs when possible in favor of safer, natural treatments.
Question: What’s the difference between a Naturopath & a Naturopathic Doctor?
Answer: By definition, a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) has passed a state-approved medical board exam and graduated from an accredited medical program and has full prescriptive rights. In Oregon, Naturopathic Doctors can prescribe medications, order labs, administer an IV, order x-rays and other diagnostic scans. The term Naturopath is more recognized by the general public so many times Naturopathic Doctors will answer to, or refer to themselves as such. Some states have made laws that give specific definitions for Naturopathic Doctors and made separate category for non-licensed naturopathic practitioners.

*DISCLAIMER: Answers to these questions apply to the state of Oregon. Laws/policies in other states may vary. While every attempt at presenting accurate data is made as of the date this page was published. This page is not legal advice. Consult with a doctor, attorney or authorized governing body before making legal/medical decisions.

Naturopathic Doctors in Portland, Oregon

Our status as licensed Primary Care Physicians does give us full authority to write prescriptions for medications when appropriate, our true passion is in herbal medicine, physical medicine and homeopathic remedies underpinned with a deep understanding of classical Chinese Medicine. This dual status as both a physician and an Acupuncturist trained in Chinese medicine gives our staff a unique perspective among our peers. In order to provide the best quality care and allow for extensive one-on-one time with our patients, we do operate a cash-based practice (we accept cash, credit and HSA).

Naturopathic Medicine is a distinct system of primary health care that seeks to restore health and vitality by identifying and correcting the underlying causes of disease. We recognize that the human body has complex and elegant mechanisms designed to maintain and restore health. Illness results when these mechanisms are disturbed or overwhelmed and the body can no longer maintain balance. Our patients in Portland, Oregon appreciate that rather than simply masking symptoms, naturopathic medicine seeks to identify and correct the underlying causes of illness and thus facilitate a return to health.

Therapies commonly used by Portland Naturopathic Doctors include diet and nutritional therapies, herbal medicine, homeopathy, hands on manual therapies, hydrotherapy and health and lifestyle counseling. NDs can write prescriptions for some pharmaceuticals, including bio-identical hormones, but use them sparingly as equal or better results can usually be achieved with natural therapies. Within our Portland, Oregon alternative medical practice we also order lab tests and use imaging studies such as MRI’s when needed and refer to specialists when appropriate.

The Six Principles of Naturopathic Medicine

1. First, Do No Harm – primum no nocere
We use gentle therapies that help restore balance within the body. We believe that stronger therapies such as drugs and surgeries should be reserved for when it is absolutely necessary. We strive to use therapies that reduce harm and side effects.

2. Identify and Treat the Cause – tolle causam

Treating symptoms may serve as temporary relief, but will not bring the body back into balance. As we address and alleviate symptoms, we are always in search of the root cause of an illness.

3. The Healing Power of Nature – vis medicatrix naturae

The body demonstrates a remarkable ability to heal and maintain health. We believe that the doctor’s role is to support and optimize this innate capacity.

4. Treat the Whole Person – in perturbato animo sicut in corpore sanitas esse non potest
We address imbalances in all body systems including emotional and psychological stresses which can impact health as well and affect the body’s ability to heal. We take all potential causes of a patient’s condition into consideration and make appropriate recommendations.

5. Doctor as Teacher – docere
The best thing a doctor can do for their patients is educate them about their health and body. We see the journey to health as a team effort.

6. Prevention – principiis obsta: sero medicina curatur
Naturopathic doctors evaluate the potential risks for imbalance or disease and optimize a patient’s health to prevent future disease.