NYANP President, Dr. Tia Trivisonno, was recently a guest on Caspar Szulc’s Innovative Medicine podcast and spoke with him about the story of naturopathic medicine. In the interview, Dr. Trivisonno explained what an ND is and what they do, and how despite the extensive training they’ve gone through at accredited naturopathic medical schools, some states – including New York – do not acknowledge or license NDs. 

Dr. Trivisonno also talked about why she went into the field and how travelling has impacted her education and practice. 

I really felt like if I want to help the medical paradigm and I want to educate my family, my friends, and ultimately future patients about a system that can work for them, naturopathic medicine to me is the one that blends these things in such a way that you speak the language of the conventional doctor because you go through, gynecology and dermatology classes and your clinical rounds and you go through understanding and interpreting lab work.‘

~Dr. Tia Trivisonno

When asked what is an ND and what do they do, Dr. Trivisonno responded, “In simplest terms, a naturopathic doctor is trained as a primary care physician, but from a preventive standpoint. So the idea is that you optimize health and wellness using the least invasive methods possible. Now, so that said, a naturopathic doctor who attends an accredited school within the United States, we go through national board exams once we finish our education, similar to that of a medical doctor or a DO a naturopathic doctor has to take all of the same biomedical courses initially the bio-sciences and then we go through clinical rotations and these kinds of things. They’re trained to read labs, to evaluate lab work, basically, essentially to diagnose and treat illness. Now the scope of practice is different in different states and we may get into that later, but essentially a doctor aims to get to the root cause of any illness and looks at preventive measures first and is at the level of a diagnostician, a clinician truly a doctor right now.”

Caspar Szulc, the podcast host, asked her what the difference between functional and integrative physicians – MDs – and naturopathic doctors. 

“The main difference would be the guiding principles of naturopathic medicine. So naturopathic medicine, as I mentioned before follows certain principles and a philosophy and that philosophy is to get to the root cause of the imbalanced, doctor as teacher, prevention first, and treat the whole person. Functional medicine is looking at things from that standpoint. But perhaps from more looking at biochemistry and seeing where pathways in the body may be having some issues and then utilizing, let’s say, nutrition, herbs, minerals, to correct that. In naturopathic medicine, I do feel that the aim is to still go a little bit deeper in terms of looking at the root cause of imbalance for the patient and including things like, could there be some emotional trauma? Could there be something directly in their own environment? So there are similarities with functional medicine. Absolutely. But I would say that the naturopathic doctor is looking a little bit more into the natural environment and from a vitalist perspective, using these guiding principles to really look at the whole person.”

Listen to Dr. Trivisonno’s podcast (or read the transcript) on IntegrativeMedicine.com

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