Naturopaths Pioneer Holistic Residency Training

To the Editor,

I recently finished reading your October 15 edition. The article, "Nation's First Holistic Medicine Residency on the Horizon" surprised me. You write, "The University of Colorado's department of Family Medicine is boldly going where no medical school has gone before: residency training in holistic medicine." Though your audience is also comprised of naturopathic physicians, the article had no mention of the several residencies in family medicine at naturopathic medical colleges such as National College of Naturopathic Medicine (NCNM).

NCNM is a fully accredited 4-year medical school. Graduates earn the degree of Naturopathic Doctor (ND). Currently there are many residencies available including Cancer Treatment Centers of America, the NCNM teaching clinics, and several private practice general and family medical clinics. NDs sit for board exams and are licensed primary care physicians in 11 states, with many other states lobbying for recognition and licensure.

In these days of people demanding better quality health care and alternative methods of treatment, it is vital for our profession to stand up and be recognized. I urge you to visit the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians website ( or NCNM's website ( for more information.

Kathryn Sawhill, ND
Beaverton Naturopathic Medicine
Beaverton, OR


Editor's Reply:

Thanks for informing us about the naturopathic residency programs. We stand corrected, and I apologize for failing to recognize them in our article. I certainly meant no slight to the naturopathic profession. As conventional medical training programs begin to address natural/holistic medicine, it will be interesting to see how residency programs for holistic MDs converge and diverge from those available to NDs. Hopefully, all of the medical professions will learn from one another in an atmosphere of respect and a spirit of collaboration.

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