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Naturopathic doctors are trained in the same basic Western medical sciences as a medical doctor and must pass rigorous professional board exams to be licensed by a state or jurisdiction in both the basic and clinical sciences after having met undergraduate pre-requisite requirements that are equivalent of a pre-med degree, though many naturopathic candidates come from varied academic backgrounds. After a minimum of 2 years of classroom training, naturopathic medical students intern at a teaching clinic and in clinical settings under the close supervision of licensed professionals.

Naturopathic training differs in the philosophical and treatment approach from traditional Western medicine.  Treatment philosophy focuses on disease prevention and promoting wellness. Healing and treatment modalities include clinical nutrition, nutrient therapy botanical medicine, orthomolecular medicine, homeopathy, physical medicine, and counselling.  ND inter-refer and cooperate with other medical professionals and specialists since natural medicine is both a primary and complementary healing approach.  

NDs allow significantly more time for patient visits in order to get a thorough and detailed history to gain a full grasp on the individual's health.  Additionally, NDs are trained to take the time to educate their patients to promote wellness, disease prevention, and understanding the "why's" of causes and treatment.

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