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New law gives medical licenses to naturopathic doctors

Thread: New law gives medical licenses to naturopathic doctors

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  1. azskeptic's Avatar

    azskeptic said:

    New law gives medical licenses to naturopathic doctors

    New law gives medical licenses to naturopathic doctors
    Three local docs will be able to diagnose, treat illnesses

    By: xxxxxxxxx, Journal Staff Writer
    Thursday, December 23, 2004 5:09 AM PST

    Naturopathic doctors xxxxx, back, and his wife, xxxxxx, perform a routine checkup on a patient at their Auburn office. They are among the first in California to be licensed naturopathic doctors. Photo by xxxx/Auburn Journal
    Up until recently, naturopathic medicine practitioners in California could only be consultants in a patient's medical care. They weren't able to do lab tests, draw blood or even diagnose illnesses.

    But now thanks to a new California law, some of the first licensed naturopathic doctors will be able to be primary care physicians for thousands who seek out their care. And there are three of them in Auburn alone.

    "Because there was no licensing regulation in our profession, naturopathic doctors had to operate as a nutritionist would. So this basically put us on same level as an MD," said xxxxxxof Four Rivers Naturopathic Clinic in Auburn.

    xxxx and her husband xxxxxx started the clinic in November and are anxiously awaiting their licenses along with xxxxx, an Auburn native who has a home practice in town.

    "I'm really excited about it. What I've found is because I can't advertise I'm a doctor a lot of people don't realize what I do," xxxxx said. "Now people can be aware of alternatives, because Western medicine doesn't have all the answers. We have some, and hopefully there will be more choice for people."

    Now NDs can prescribe drugs through a supervising MD, administer intravenous fluids, draw blood, do lab tests, exams and diagnose illness.

    The biggest benefit xxxxx sees is being able to legally diagnose and treat illness, where before she could only suggest and hint at things that have helped other people.

    "The wording was different. Now I can be a little bit more direct - yes I treat this and this and not 'We get great success from doing this.' It's just easier," she said.

    The bill set to be signed into law earlier this year created the Bureau of Naturopathic Medicine under the Department of Consumer Affairs. The process of setting up this new infrastructure took time, and now finally, doctors are receiving their licenses in California.

    California is the 13th state to license naturopathic doctors.

    "It's been kind of a buyer beware. (California) had an environment in which it's hard for consumers to understand what they're getting and the difference between a well-trained naturopathic doctor and just anyone," said xxxxxx, president of the California Naturopathic Doctor's Association.

    Levy said many correspondence schools offer degrees in naturopathy that don't guarantee any medical training.In the Know: Fast naturopathic facts

    There are five approved schools of naturopathic medicine in North America.There are 150 members of the California Naturopathic Doctors Association.Four naturopathic doctors in the area were among the first to apply for their license, three in Auburn and one in Sacramento.
    Naturopathic doctors licensed by California must have a degree from an approved school and have passed the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examination to call themselves naturopathic doctors.

    While unlicensed naturopathic practitioners still have a lot to offer, Hook said, they might not have same medical background as NDs.

    Though there are still some limitations, NDs cannot deliver children or do minor surgery, these are advances on the horizon for the newly licensed naturopathic doctors. But now patients can rest assured they are receiving quality care, xxxxxxx said.

    "If you have a broken bone, we can't treat you, and if you have appendicitis, we'll know. That's the benefit for the citizens of California know they know that their doctor have training to recognize serious illness," she said.

    xxxxxxxxare both doctors originally from California who studied in Arizona but missed the nature, rolling hills and trees that of California.

    "I'm not sure we would have come here if that law wasn't passed and that's going to be true for lots of students and people who have been practicing in other states," xxxxxsaid. "This will change the face of health care in California, this is just the beginning."

    Naturopathy is a holistic medical approach that treats the entire person with the least invasive and toxic means.

    "We try to understand what is going on with the person on a physical level, an emotional level and a spiritual level. We use treatments as gentle and conservative as possible while still getting the job done," xxxxxx said.

    Patients are pleased to hear they can now see their naturopathic doctors for many of their needs.

    "I'm totally thrilled I won't go to a medical doctor unless it's absolutely necessary now that can see her for everything," said xxxxxxxxx, 38, Meadow Vista, who started seeing D'Amico this summer.

    "I was struggling with the limitations of Western medicine, and looking for any alternative that can help," she said. "And now they can do lab tests and give shots on top of what they're already capable of doing. It's so wonderful."

    The Journal's xxxxxxxx can be reached at xxxxxxxxxx
    Last edited by azskeptic; 12-22-2005 at 05:50 PM.
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  2. teratos's Avatar

    teratos said:


    I think they should be able to do labs, so they can look for the renal and hepatotoxicity of their unresearched treatments. It's interesting, really. Look at the recent hubbub in the pres about Naprosyn. A drug we have used for 20 years. Countless studies have been done on it. Now we find out that it increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Now imagine what you'll find if you follow all these herbal treatments.

    Herbal remedies most often contain drugs in the same classes as drugs that allopaths use for various conditions. Saw Palmetto is an alpha-blocker, just like Flomax. St. John's Wort is a weak MAO inhibitor (the most dangerous class of antidepressants, and probably one of the most dangerous classes of medication...period), etc. Why do people take this crap. It's like me giving them a pill and saying "it hasn't been studied, I don't know how much of the active ingredient is in each one, and we have no outcomes data" That is absolutely dumb.

    We'll see what happens when it comes to malpractice. I bet nobody will cover them because of potential hidden dangers in the treatments. G
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  3. AUCMD2006's Avatar

    AUCMD2006 said:

    MD's will still get screwed

    if you notice one line on there that said all this has to be done under a supervising MD then they should be under the MD's malpractice unmbrella and the first place a slimy lawyer will go for
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  4. wolfvgang22 said:

    fun natureopathic treatments....

    This sucks. Colloidial Silver treatments, anyone??

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  5. teratos's Avatar

    teratos said:


    they can practice under my license......yeah, right.

    Colloidal silver is cool, that must be where they got the idea for the smurfs. G
    AUC Class of '99
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  6. dt said:



    Published on Friday, December 31, 2004 by the Inter Press Service
    Intimidation, Politics and Drug Industry Cripple U.S. Medicine
    by Ritt Goldstein

    STOCKHOLM - While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is supposed to safeguard the nation's medical products, drawing upon the substantive expertise of its drug scientists in vigilant dedication to the public's health, that is not the case today.

    Documentation, interviews and recent drug debacles depict a brutally different reality, with the Vioxx scandal alone estimated to have resulted in 30,000-55,000 U.S. deaths.

    It's more than manipulation -- they (the FDA and NIH) put their seal of approval on things that they knew were false, were wrong ... they've betrayed the trust. Instead of servants of the public, they became truly agents and promoters of the Industry.

    Vera Hassner Sharav, a renowned drug industry critic

    "You have an agency in denial -- the FDA still maintains it made no mistake in the approval or regulation of Vioxx," says the agency's associate safety director, Dr ***** J Graham.

    Vioxx was voluntary withdrawn by its manufacturer, Merck and Co, on Sep. 30, 2004 due to substantively increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Since then, questions have been raised regarding similar problems in other pain medications like Celebrex and Aleve.

    Graham, who provided the figures on the Vioxx deaths, also told IPS that -- despite the recent linkage between some antidepressants and suicide -- the FDA is in the process of "misleading the public in their (antidepressant) labeling ... taking care of business rather than patient safety."

    Graham, whose November testimony before the U.S. Senate Finance Committee rocked the FDA's leadership, warned that while the agency's proposed new label for the class of antidepressants known as SSRIs cites a "suicidality" rate of one-two percent, a senior FDA official acknowledged in September that number was based upon drug trials that "failed to capture most of the reactions of suicidality."

    A 20-year FDA veteran, Graham then noted that an alternative trial found "the actual rate was somewhere around seven or eight percent," an incredibly substantive difference from the proposed FDA numbers.

    Investigation reveals that dangers of drugs are being deliberately downplayed, and the public misled.

    Notably, a March 2003 report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General (DHHS-IG), Janet Rehnquist, found that just 12 percent of FDA scientists were completely confident that "labeling decisions adequately address key safety concerns."

    In his most recent congressional testimony on Nov. 18, Graham named five drugs as candidates for market withdrawal: Accutane, an acne treatment; Bextra, the pain medication; Crestor, which lowers cholesterol; Meridia, a weight reduction drug; and Serevent, an asthma medication.

    All of the preceding drugs' manufacturers were reported declaring their medications safe, paralleling similar pronouncements made by Merck and Company prior to its withdrawal of Vioxx.

    At the same time, the Senate Finance Committee chairman, Iowa republican Charles Grassley, expressed his belief the FDA was "too cozy" with the drug industry.

    Graham urged Congress to pursue legislation separating the FDA offices that address drug safety from the drug review and approval structure, arguing that creating an independent body to review drug problems would avoid the need to seek action on problem medications from the very individuals who had approved them, which is now what happens.

    Both the FDA and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have come under increasingly strong criticism for alleged distortion of research, their "cozy" relationship with the drug industry said to be at the root of the problem.

    'The National Institutes of Health: Public Servant or Private Marketer?' headlined the Dec. 22 'Los Angeles Times', which revealed that while physicians have relied on the NIH to draft medical standards, the agency's researchers accepted "substantive fees and stock from drug companies ... an unabashed mingling of science and commerce."

    The NIH creates treatment guidelines for use by physicians, but documentation reveals that many of those working at the institutes to create the guidelines were quietly on the pay of the drug companies whose products they were suggesting.

    "It's more than manipulation -- they (the FDA and NIH) put their seal of approval on things that they knew were false, were wrong ... they've betrayed the trust. Instead of servants of the public, they became truly agents and promoters of the Industry," said Vera Hassner Sharav, a renowned drug industry critic whose years of work as head of the Alliance for Human Research Protection (AHRP) broke much of the ground for today's revelations.

    "Now we're seeing the pattern, we're seeing that it isn't one drug, not one company, but rather the entire enterprise," added Hassner Sharav in an interview.

    What continually resurfaces is federal agencies' effective abdication of their watchdog role, interrupted only by scientists of integrity who have gone beyond their agency structures in attempting to alert the public to growing dangers.

    Economic and political goals appear to have replaced the need to safeguard the safety of the U.S. public and agencies' scientific integrity, say observers.

    "Over the last couple of years, we ... began to hear reports out of a number of the federal agencies that 'something was going on', that research and analysis by government scientists was being systematically censored or ignored ... or misrepresented in some way," said Kathleen Rest, executive director of the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

    In an interview Rest described what she saw as a "pattern," one of "politicizing or manipulating scientific advisory boards." The UCS -- whose membership encompasses much of the cream of America's scientists, including a number of Nobel laureates -- also found "evidence and cases of agencies manipulating or suppressing scientific analysis."

    The March 2003 FDA report by the DHHS-IG, whose public release presented only information portraying the agency in a favorable light, was obtained in full under the Freedom of Information Act by the UCS and another non-governmental organization (NGO), Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).

    While the release of only the report's positive conclusions further highlights the official spin being broadly put on research findings, all of those interviewed spoke of the devastating potential of disseminating misleading scientific data. Graham described the yearly death toll from Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) across the full spectrum of available medication as "massive."

    Both the 'Journal of the American Medical Association' and Britain's 'Lancet' have described ADRs as the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. But despite such severe human costs, the full version of the DHHS-IG report revealed that about one-fifth of FDA scientists had "been pressured to approve or recommend approval" for a medication "despite reservations about the safety, efficacy or quality of the drug."

    According to Graham, "the agency (FDA) has never given a high priority to safety." Instead he saw its main pursuit as the "review and approval of drugs," adding that the vast majority of agency resources were expended in this effort. Accordingly, those who work in review and approval areas have the most influence upon FDA policy, he added.

    Confirming reports of the pressures applied to government experts who dare to speak out, Graham warned, "intimidation of scientists who threaten the status quo at FDA is routine."

    He described how, after he sought the withdrawal of an arthritis drug called Arava, his superior addressed his concerns that the medication induced liver failure.

    "The division director spent the first 10 minutes of that meeting screaming at me. Basically, standing up, jugular veins bulging in his neck, eyes sort of bugging out of his head, screaming ... basically trying to intimidate me so that I'd change my conclusion."

    Arava is still on the market today.

    Citing another instance, Graham recalled his 1999 attempt to have the diabetes drug Rezulin withdrawn for also inducing liver failure. He noted that while Britain withdrew the drug in 1997, the FDA delayed Rezulin's market recall until 2000, citing a policy of "risk management," though Graham noted that his findings already indicated the futility of such an approach.

    Those marketing Rezulin "were making roughly two million dollars a day" on the medication, Graham added, so the extra market time provided a financial bonus to the medication's makers.

    The scientist also described how he was given a poor performance evaluation after providing accurate congressional testimony on drug safety shortcomings. His supervisor at the time informed him "my job was to please him," describing that as a "direct quote."

    When asked if this meant his job was "not to safeguard the public," Graham replied, "right, my job was to please him."

    Complicating efforts to maintain scientific integrity, Graham noted that existing federal protections for whistleblower have been gutted, and that a current whistleblower protection bill is being blocked in Congress.

    Despite obvious concern over the potential ramifications for his future, Graham emphasized his belief that "my job is to look after drug safety for the American people."

    Copyright 2004 IPS - Inter Press Service
  7. AUCMD2006's Avatar

    AUCMD2006 said:


    you can't study all side effects in 5 years it is more of a risk assesment. if you want to test meds for 30 years to see thier long term safety profile then be prepared to pay the price.

    i saw an artcle once that related a significvant number of those drug deaths and other medical deaths blamed entirely on doctors and it talked about many patients who had been under a ND care or some other holistic garbage before seeking medical the time they got there damamge had already been dopne by "natural herbs" and some didn't report what herbs they were taking because they were "all natural medicines and completely safe"and had reactions with prescriptions given so i think those numbers are also inflated. on top of that add in the many patients that wait until the very end to seek help, and the thousands who are told to cross the border illegaly becuase medical care is not refused in the US and the condition they arrive in. i saw my share of mexican turfs in horrible shape expecting miracles.....
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  8. snbeast said:
    Dr. Graham was also making statements he later apologized for because he knew nothing about the safety of Rosuvastatin. The day after his comments the FDA came out and stated "Dr. Graham's testimony does not reflect the opinions of the FDA". Dr. Graham had NO involvment in the research of the safety of rosuvastatin. His comments were damaging and he should be held accountable for making comments that may have hurt the public. Thus I suggest a fine and stiff jail time. What if an employee of a major airline was angry and came out and said similar comments about aircraft flying are unsafe. Potentially billions of dollars could be lost, not to mention livelyhoods of many.
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  9. swimguy23's Avatar

    swimguy23 said:


    they have a place, but are not on the same level as MD's. never will
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  10. azskeptic's Avatar

    azskeptic said:

    Re: naturopaths

    Quote Originally Posted by swimguy23
    they have a place, but are not on the same level as MD's. never will
    In arizona they have got almost the identical scope of practice as FP's. They are planning to begin a residency program that will allow people to be Opth., IM, Psych,etc.

    I do not believe the training is equivalent but our state has allowed them quite a lot of leeway already.
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