Accreditation of a non-distance naturopathy medical school

Discussion in 'Nursing and medical-related degrees' started by Guest, Jul 14, 2001.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Because of the interest people looking at this site have in accreditation and nontraditional education, I thought I would post this topic. Recently, I was thinking about distance education and it made me think of a former college classmate who, although we went to a good school (admittedly, largely populated by rich flakes), decided after graduation to enroll at some sort of unaccredited medical school. So, I looked this up online, and find that it's the National College of Naturopathic Medicine (NCNM).

    I contacted them to ask about their accreditation, and they informed me:

    "NCNM is accredited by two specialized associations in the professions our students are trained, and has candidacy status with the regional federal accrediting body.

    "The Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges, which is the national accrediting agency for all universities and colleges in the Northwest region of the country, granted NCNM candidacy status last year.

    "The Council on Naturopathic Medical Education and the Accreditation Commission
    for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine are the two specialized agency which accredit NCNM, as well, based on the institutions programs."

    Anyway, I offer this post in case anyone has opinions about this particular school, NCNM, the various accreditors, the field of naturopathy, any related LDE schools, and anything else you might want to discuss.
  2. Chip

    Chip Administrator

    Hi, Starr.

    National is one of only four respected naturopathic medical schools in the country. It is also, along with Bastyr in Seattle, among the most well established, and its graduates include a number of people that have gone on to do high quality scientific research and publishing in some of the newer peer-reviewed journals in the field (Alternative THerapies in Health and Medicine and Journal of Naturopathic Medicine, both in Index Medicus.)

    Until Lloyd Clayton's high-dollar lobbying managed to prevent the longstanding and legitimate accreditor (CNME, which you mentioned) from having its approval renewed by the US DoEd, there was no question as to legitimacy... and, amongst those who know, there still isn't a question.

    In the 15 or so states that now license naturopaths, only grads from one of the four schools (the other two are in Phoenix and Bridgeport, CT, IIRR) are permitted to be licensed, as these schools are the only ones meeting the NCNE (and, by extension, DOE) requirements.

    The Clayton schools, Westbrook, and the even *less* wonderful ones (ND degree in 4 weeks, for example) are an excellent example of why proper licensure and appropriate standards are necessary. The legitimate practitioners in this field have fought long and hard for recognition, and in some states, have won it... Arizona naturopaths can write prescriptions for medications of natural origin (Penicillin, Premarin, thyroid, for example, but not ampicillin or Synthroid) and can do venipuncture and other medical procedures.

    And I've now spoken with several Clayton and Westbrook grads, most of whom admit that their educations were pretty substandard and that without additional training (two are RNs, one a chiropractor), they would never have been qualified or felt comfortable practicine medicine.

    National grads, on the other hand, do a supervised internship/residency, plus an externship, and are pretty comprehensively trained.

    It's very difficult when people don't understand the field, let alone the differences between the fake schools and the real ones, but there *is* a huge difference.
  3. tcnixon

    tcnixon Active Member

    It's likely even more than understanding the field. I would hazard a guess that most people don't even know the field exists, which makes official recognition all the more difficult.

    Tom Nixon
  4. geoduck

    geoduck New Member

    NCNM is the oldest legitimate residential naturopathic medical school in North America. The school resulted from a mid-1950s split with the chiropractic school now known as Western States, also located in Portland.

    National hung in there in the dark days of naturopathic medicine and was headed by the legendary Dr. John Bastyr who maintained a focus on scientific validation and methodology. In the mid-70s four of his students went on to establish Bastyr University (then it was John Bastyr College of Naturopathic Medicine). Bastyr U. was the first naturopathic medical school to achieve regional accreditation. That was a both real challenge and an incredible accomplishment.

    It is encouraging to see the other legit ND schools aim for RA as it sidesteps the ongoing circus over the professional accreditation association for the reasons that Chip states.

    To correct your statement about National being some sort of unaccredited medical school--National (and the other legit ones) are not medical schools, but naturopathic medical schools. Naturopathic medicine is a distinct healing art with its own curriculum, scope of practice, and licensing.

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