Maryland University of Integrative Health will welcome its first class of naturopathic medical students in the fall of 2018.
“In establishing our School of Naturopathic Medicine, MUIH is taking a bold step to address some of the most challenging issues in healthcare,” said Steven Combs, president and CEO of MUIH. “We expect the graduates of this program to help fill the gap caused by the shortage of primary care physicians and to provide patients with cost-effective, compassionate care based on preventative and natural methods. Patients are demanding this approach and our nation needs these graduates.”
Naturopathic medicine is a general practice discipline that emphasizes lifestyle medicine, wellness, and optimal health. It mobilizes the wisdom of nature to support the body’s inherent healing ability. Naturopathic doctors (NDs) diagnose and treat disease, and use traditional therapies combined with modern medical practices to help restore and maintain health. NDs place patients at the heart of a relationship-centered care model, empowering them with education and tools to take charge of their own well-being.
The School of Naturopathic Medicine at MUIH will be the first in the mid-Atlantic region and one of only a handful of ND schools in the nation that operate within a regionally accredited university. It will offer students highly progressive models and best practices for evidence-informed medical education and will incorporate digitally-enhanced learning, interactive classroom experiences, hands-on and virtual laboratories, and a wide variety of clinical experiences including community-based healthcare. Learning is designed to foster critical thinking and clinical reasoning through a student-oriented curriculum that establishes a foundation in biomedical sciences, naturopathic philosophy, and integrative therapeutics and will include emerging trends in genomics, bioinformatics, and personalized medicine. The Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine program will prepare graduates to practice as first-contact providers with expertise in botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, homeopathy, counseling and coaching, and manual therapies designed to address the whole person.
“This is the right time and MUIH is the right place to advance the education and practice of naturopathic medicine,” said Elizabeth Pimentel, N.D., dean of the School of Naturopathic Medicine. “As students progress through the program, learning is focused on the clinical applications of the art, science, and wise practice of medicine, and the transformative process of becoming an effective doctor, compassionate healer, and integral member of a healthcare team that places the patient at the very center.”
The number of naturopathic doctors has tripled in the last 10 years as more and more states provide licensure opportunities for NDs. Today, 19 states, including Maryland and the District of Columbia, license NDs and several more are in the legislative process toward licensing. The career outlook is extremely promising for graduates of MUIH’s School of Naturopathic Medicine, as NDs are increasingly in demand at integrative health practices, hospitals, medical centers, specialty clinics, and research centers.