Indeed, it varies by state. Its also worth noting that the requirements vary by state as well.
For instance, there are relatively few states that consider the ND degree to be a protected "status", similar to MDs and DOs. That is to say, with specific requirements for training, being able to register for a license to practice medicine in the state, fraudulently claiming the degree and/or practicing without a license is consider a felony etc... generally, being a "real" physician.
I believe less than/around 10 states have the most rigorous provisions for NDs, accept only NDs trained at the few accredited programs said to be at parity with MD/Do programs etc. In these states, NDs often have at least some prescribing rights for prescription medications but sometimes these are limited compared to what MDs/DOs could offer. In other states however there is little regulation on what "ND" means, so someone could literally call themselves an ND with a few weeks of online training and a certificate.
Thus it is very important for patients to be aware of their practitioners qualifications and the laws of their state. This is not to say there can't be qualified NDs or other alternative health degree backgrounds (ie , Oriental/Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, Chiropractic, etc) but their training is not always as regulated/verified and patients should be aware.
I personally feel that the best choice is a MD or DO who has taken it upon themselves to study in functional medicine and other therapies as part of their continuing medical education. Thus, they have the largest "toolbox" so to speak and can use all modalities available in their diagnosis and treatment, full prescribing rights, and a verified foundation.
Posts: 685 | From East coast, USA | Registered: Jun 2006
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- Accredited colleges of naturopathic medicine, state licensing and state & national ND membership links are in the set below.
When considering herbal / nutritional / adjunct methods:
if at all possible - because each person & each case is different - it's best to consult with an ILADS-educated LL ND (lyme literate naturopathic doctor) (or similar)
who has completed four years of post-graduate medical education in the field of herbal and nutritional medicine -
- and someone who is current with ILADS' research & presentations, past and present, and has completed the ILADS Physician Training Program (see: www.ilads.org )
Many LL NDs incorporate antibiotics (depending upon the licensing laws in their state). Some LLMDs and LL NDs have good working relationships.
When possible, it's great to have both a LLMD and LL ND and even better when they have a long-standing professional relationship.
Be aware that integrative doctors can have various levels of formal herbal &/or nutritional education, perhaps even just a short course. Do ask first. Some have learned on their own from experts in the field. There are many ways to acquire knowledge and most are eager to share basic details about their training. You want someone with a deep knowledge.
Some of the specialities above may not actually treat lyme yet, for things such as physical adjustments, it is just good that they are also LL, at least to some degree (to know never to suddenly twist the neck or spine).
Links to many articles and books by holistic-minded LL doctors of various degrees who all have this basic approach in common:
Understanding of the importance of addressing the infection(s) fully head-on with specific measures from all corners of medicine;
knowing which supplements have direct impact, which are only support and which are both.
You can compare and contrast many approaches. -
Posts: 48021 | From Tree House | Registered: Jul 2007
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