How to Become a Homeopathic Doctor

Overview

A homeopathic doctor, also known as a naturopathic or osteopathic doctor, is a medical professional who has completed a four-year doctoral program in naturopathy or naturopathic medicine or a medical program in homeopathy, naturopathy or osteopathy. Homeopathic doctors treat their patients naturally through lifestyle changes, a healthy diet, supplements, vitamins and herbs and exercise routines. These doctors may receive medical training along with training in alternative treatment methods like: herbal medicine, acupuncture and/or clinical nutrition.

In other words, homeopathic doctors treat medical conditions and illnesses primarily with alternative methods rather than simply relying on medications and surgery to correct the problem. If you are wondering how to become a homeopathic doctor, you have come to the right place. This article will teach you everything you need to know to enter the world of homeopathic medicine.

Job Duties

As a homeopathic doctor you will more than likely work in a clinical, college or business setting. In addition, your primary title may be: herbal pharmacist, wellness consultant or alternative medicine consultant. Your main duties may consist of: documenting patient medical histories, recording symptoms and developing treatment plans tailored to your patients.

You may also be able to prescribe dietary supplements, vitamins and/or herbs. It is important to note that you will not be able to prescribe prescription drugs if you are not a medical doctor. In some cases, you will also be responsible for ordering x-rays, mammograms, bone-density tests, ultrasounds and lab work.

Related Reading: How to Get a Naturopathic Degree

Educational Requirements

The first step to become a homeopathic doctor is to obtain a bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s degree is usually a prerequisite for admission to graduate school and medical school. You do not have to major in a specific area to enter a graduate program, although some students major in pre-med courses. You will need to take science, math and humanities courses during your undergraduate years. You will also want to maintain at least a 3.0 GPA.

You may decide that you want to become a medical doctor and a homeopathic doctor. If this is the case, you will need to enter medical school. In this scenario, you will still need to graduate with a bachelor’s degree, but instead of entering graduate school you will need to enter medical school.

The first thing you will need to do is successfully pass the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). This exam is used to determine admission to medical schools. It is important to note that naturopathic schools typically do not require the MCAT, but medical schools usually expect you to make a certain score in order to be admitted to their medical programs.

Once you have passed the MCAT, your next step will be to attend medical school. There are a variety of areas that you can enter if you want to be a homeopathic doctor. As mentioned previously, you may decide to become a medical doctor (MD) that specializes in homeopathy or you may decide to become osteopathic doctor or chiropractor. You can expect to attend graduate school for approximately 4 years and you can expect to attend medical school for at least 8 to 10 years, depending on your specialization. If you decide to attend medical school you will be required to complete an internship and residency.

Licensure

If you decide to go the medical route, you will be required to be licensed to practice medicine in the United States. Regardless of whether you are medical doctor (MD) or a doctor of osteopathy (DO), you will be required to successfully complete a residency and obtain licensure. If you are a medical doctor, you will need to pass the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination. If you are a doctor of osteopathy you will need to pass the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination. If you are a doctor of naturopathic medical, you will need to pass the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Exam before being licensed.

Certification

According to the National Institutes of Health, there does not appear to be standard licensing or certification protocols for homeopathic doctors. Laws vary from state to state, but homeopathic doctors can receive licensure in the following states:  Nevada, Connecticut and Arizona. Additional states may allow homeopathic doctors to practice as long as their training, educational background and experience is disclosed to patients.

If you are interested in becoming certified in homeopathy, you will need to first complete approximately 150 credit hours in homeopathic courses, You may also have to complete a clinical internship that consist of treating chronic medical conditions, two months prior to sitting for the certification exam.

Salary Prospects

Homeopathic doctors tend to be self-employed and therefore must market their business in order to make a salary. Although the salary range varies, you can expect to make approximately $84,000 annually (bls.gov). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2013), if you fall in the upper 10%, you may make approximately $141,000 per year. If you have extensive education and experience you may have the ability to make $200,000 or more, per year.

Career Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2013), the number of jobs for physicians is expected to increase approximately 20% by 2018. Although the bureau suggests that job growth will be centered towards traditional medical doctors and surgeons, it does not exclude homeopathic/naturopathic or osteopathic doctors from its analysis. This growth will be attributed to an aging population and increasing medical conditions and illnesses.

References and Further Readings

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