Bill To Establish Naturopathic Doctors As Licensed Professionals In New York State Passes Senate.

New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle (R, C, I- Port Jefferson) said today that a bill he sponsored to establish naturopathic doctors as licensed professionals in New York State has passed the Senate. This legislation also includes specific requirements for the education and residency training for naturopaths, the creation of a state board for naturopathy, and continuing education provisions.

Senator LaValle said that New York State currently has no regulations for naturopathy and that anyone can call themselves a naturopathic doctor, by completing a home study course in as little as six weeks. “Licensing,” Senator LaValle said, “will offer the public a way to find qualified naturopaths who perform this important aspect of complementary and integrative medicine.”

Naturopaths are currently licensed in Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Washington D.C., Washington State, as well as the territories of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

To be licensed as a Naturopath and use one of the titles associated with Naturopathy a person needs, among other requirements, to have received a doctoral diploma from a registered school of Naturopathic Medicine and have satisfactorily completed an approved clinical post-graduate residency training of an approved program with five years of clinical supervision of not less than 12 months in duration and pass a national examination.

Licensure will provide access to qualified Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) who provide care not offered by other currently licensed professionals: well-care. Licensure also allows for the creation of education institutions that train NDs in New York, which is not possible until licensure exists.

“Considering the rapidly increasing rate of chronic health issues,” Senator LaValle said, “the lack of practitioners licensed to address chronic health issues, and the costs involved in addressing chronic health issues, licensing Naturopathic Doctors is a long-overdue and critical step in the future financial and medical well-being of New York State.”

The bill will now be sent to the Assembly.