Frequently Asked Questions:

How are naturopathic doctors (NDs) different from MDs?

NDs (Naturopathic Doctors) and MDs (Medical Doctors) have similar training in the basic sciences and medical diagnosis and treatment. To become a licensed naturopathic doctor, one must attend a 4 year residential accredited naturopathic medical school. It is also required that naturopathic doctors pass a basic sciences board exam, and clinical board board exam. In licensed states, NDs are trained to practice as primary care physicians. They can prescribe most medications, and can order labs and imaging, as well as refer to specialists. Naturopathic Doctors typically spend more time with clients to create individualized treatment plans. They use a wide variety of safe, non-toxic therapies as well as conventional therapies if needed, to help patients achieve their health goals.

Are all NDs equal?

In those states that do not recognize nor license credentialed naturopathic doctors, many lay persons (with no medical training or recognized higher education) hold certificates granting them the title "Doctor of Naturopathy" (ND). This becomes very confusing to the public, as well as other health care practitioners and lawmakers. Please keep in mind, in unlicensed states, anyone can use the initials "ND" behind their name. When seeing a new practitioner, ask questions about medical training and education. Ask to see the practitioners license, if you are intending to consult with a licensed naturopathic doctor.  

Do you accept insurance?

Naturopathic Doctors are not currently licensed and regulated within the state of New Mexico, therefore they are considered out of network for insurance purposes.  We do not bill insurance companies directly for our services.  By not contracting with insurance companies we are able to spend a longer amount of time with clients during appointments.  

Can naturopathic doctors prescribe medications?

In licensed states, Naturopathic Doctors can prescribe most medications. Currently 23 states regulate naturopathic doctors. Click here to view a list of states that license Naturopathic Doctors.  

Are naturopathic doctors licensed in New Mexico?

Unfortunately, naturopathic doctors are not currently licensed in the state of New Mexico. However, licensing efforts are underway. For more information on licensing efforts or how you can help, please visit

Can naturopathic doctors order laboratory tests and imaging?

In licensed states, naturopathic doctors can order laboratory tests and imaging such as MRI, X-ray, CT, ultrasound, etc). Unfortunately naturopathic doctors are not yet licensed in New Mexico, so they are unable to order lab tests and imaging at this time. 

Will naturopathic medicine interfere with my medications?

Naturopathic doctors are your highly trained experts in herbal medicine and supplements. During your appointments, all of your current medications and supplements will be reviewed. When providing recommendations, NDs will not recommend any herb or supplement that will interact with any medications. 

Will naturopathic doctors immediately take me off my medications?

No – your past medical history, medications, and supplements will be reviewed during your office visit, but it is likely that you will not be asked stop any of your medications.  It is possible that your need for current medications may change with naturopathic recommendations.  If medications do need to be reduced or discontinued, Arrowhead Wellness will communicate this will the prescribing physician.

Do naturopathic doctors use treatments that are supported by scientific evidence?

Yes – All naturopathic doctors are trained to use therapies supported by scientific evidence.  However, there are some naturopathic therapies that have minimal evidence to support their efficacy. Naturopathic doctors will educate you on the safety and effectiveness of each recommended therapy. 


For a more thorough list of commonly asked questions about naturopathic medicine, please click here