Should I go to Naturopathic School? – Fact Check

It’s been almost two years since the last time I posted. I should explain why it’s been so long and why I’m posting now.

I started this blog because in June of 2016 Britt Hermes started a petition against naturopathic doctors. In that petition she grossly misrepresented naturopathic medicine. I showed how she was being intentionally misleading here and here. The strongest data about naturopathic medicine shows that that seeing naturopathic doctors improves health outcomes and saves both patients and insurers money.

I decided to publish anonymously because Mrs. Hermes was publicly harassing NDs. In our current online world there are unfortunately few consequences for this harassment and anyone that has a public persona, especially a physician, is at a real risk of having their business affected by things like fake reviews or fake complaints to the medical board. In the end this has a chilling effect on people speaking out. Her twitter account includes many examples of this harassment:


Beyond misrepresenting the science and literature about naturopathic medicine, Ms. Hermes has misrepresented and in some cases outright lied about her education. How do I know this? I went to the same school she did, had many of the same teachers, and may or may not have known her (I am choosing not to say).

You’re here because you’re either trying to learn more about naturopathic medicine or considering a career as a naturopathic doctor. It’s important that potential students and the general public get an accurate view of naturopathic medical school.

I’m going fact check the points that Mrs. Hermes makes in her article “Should I go to naturopathic medical school” individually, but I want to first answer the question directly that this article makes: “Should I go to naturopathic school?”

My answer to that question: It depends.

Becoming a physician is hard work. If you’re not ready to commit to four difficult years of school, then medicine shouldn’t be a career path for you – naturopathic or conventional.

The next question you should ask is what kind of doctor do you want to be? Do you want to triage acute injuries in an ER setting, or do primarily surgery? If that answer is yes, then a conventional route is the best one for you.

Do you want to be an expert on a body system, specialize in women’s health or do general primary care? Do you want to specialize in pediatrics or help mainly patients that have failed conventional therapy?

If you answered yes, a naturopathic medical degree would give you the most comprehensive set of tools to help people in these categories.

What do I mean by tools?

In medicine, the tools you have are the things you use to help people get better. Most of medicine can roughly be divided into two categories – diagnosis and treatment. Diagnosis is finding out what the problem is. Treatment is how that problem is going to be solved, how you’re going to help that patient get better.

80% of solving a case is in the interview (in medicine we call this the Subjective), the rest is in objective findings – either though doing physical exam or testing. These skills are taught in great detail at Bastyr and other naturopathic medical programs.

The second piece of medicine is your toolset. Once the problem has been figured out (diagnosed), how are you going to solve it? How are you going to get the patient better? This is really the area where naturopathic medicine and a naturopathic medical education excels. We have lots of data/research, most amassed over the past 40 years, that shows the profound effect of diet, nutrition, vitamins, herbal medicine, and exercise on health. The naturopathic medical education covers all of these comprehensively. It’s puzzling to me how limited a conventional education is on these topics. Generally pharmaceuticals and surgery are well covered in a conventional education, but diet, nutrition, vitamins, herbal medicine, and exercise are not. If they are, it’s usually in the form of a single optional elective. In a naturopathic medical education each of these topics has multiple classes, spanning multiple quarters. The details of each intervention are covered in great depth. An example of class notes from a Diet and Nutrient Therapy class at Bastyr, part of the old core curriculum.

A quick note on terms: when I refer to naturopathic medical school or naturopathic school, I’m referring to schools that are accredited by the CNME and part of the AANMC coalition of schools. Graduation from one of these school, plus passing board exams, allows one to be eligible for licensure in states that regulate NDs. There are online schools that call themselves naturopathic doctor programs that don’t have the rigor of these accredited programs and don’t allow one to be licensed to practice medicine in any state or province.

Fact Check – Naturopathic education lacks medical training

A discussion of insurance rates and malpractice claims might sound like a strange place to start this discussion, maybe even a dodge, but I hope to make it should be clear why I start here after the following paragraph.

Insurance companies set rates based on what their expected loss will be while maintaining a certain profit margin for themselves. NCMIC is one of the leading malpractice insurers for naturopathic doctors. They also insure chiropractors and medical doctors. As of 2017 their insurance rates for NDs were $3,802 and their rates for medical doctors were $18,646. This is almost 5 times higher than for NDs. If NDs were poorly trained then it would follow there would be more malpractice claims per practitioner (on average) and rates would be higher. The reality is that claims are almost 5 times less on a monetary basis.

In Oregon and Washington naturopathic doctors act as primary care providers and have full prescribing rights, yet they maintain insurance rates lower then medical doctors. This suggests that on average, naturopathic doctors have better medical training then conventional doctors. If they didn’t, they would be making more errors, and it would be reflected in the malpractice insurance rates they pay.

This doesn’t suggest that naturopathic doctors are perfect however. The cases where naturopathic doctors have made mistakes or are guilty of malpractice are sensationalized by Mrs. Hermes and others to score political points, not from any sense of objectivity.

To look at this point from another angle – The National Practitioner Data Bank keeps a complete record of malpractice claims that are sortable by practitioner type. Over a 20 year period, from 1990 to 2010, there were 254,380 malpractice claims against medical doctors and 16 against naturopathic physicians.

To be fair, there are many more medical doctors then naturopathic doctors so it makes sense to find the number of malpractice claims per doctor. In 2010 there were 839,351 medical doctors with active licenses. There are around 6,000 naturopathic doctors practicing in the US currently (in 2018). There were less in 2010, but those numbers aren’t available. Conservatively I’ll estimate 4,000 in 2010. Doing a little math shows that medical doctors are on average 75 times more likely to have a malpractice claim filed against them when compared with naturopathic physicians.

My final counterpoint to the claim that naturopathic doctors lack medical training is to include some class notes taken from the current curriculum at Bastyr. Make a judgement for yourself about whether or not these come from a school that provides “medical training”. I think they speak for themselves.

Integrated Cardiovascular System

Integrated Digestive
Integrated Cardiovascular and Immune System
Naturopathic Clinical Diagnosis
Integrated Nervous System

I’ve looked at the claim that a naturopathic education lacks medical training from three perspectives – insurance rates for naturopathic doctors, malpractice claims by practitioner type, and examples from class notes. These all show Mrs. Hermes claim to be naturopathic doctors lack medical training as patently false.

Fact check – The cost of naturopathic education is overpriced

Medical school is expensive, whether it’s a naturopathic medical education or a conventional one. There is no way around it. It’s an investment of both time and money. I have no regrets for taking on the debt I did or for the time spent getting my education.

I get to set my own hours, and am paid very well for the work I do. My schedule is flexible. I get to schedule my work around family time and not the other way around. This is a luxury that most people don’t get and it’s hard to overstate how much this independence improves your quality of life. Most conventional doctors are in large group practices that are constantly consolidating. The focus on these large practices tends to be on the bottom line and not quality of life for the doctor, leading to physician burnout.

In 2016, 51% of medical doctors experienced burnout. Those numbers get worse every year. Burnout is defined as a loss of enthusiasm for work, feelings of cynicism, and a low sense of personal accomplishment. I’m sure they are out there, but I’ve never meant an ND that would fit that description.

There are student loan payment plans that keep repayment at 10-15% of take home income, so the debt I had to incur to go to naturopathic medical school, while large never felt burdensome or overwhelming.

The majority of naturopathic doctors I know make six figure incomes per year; the ones that don’t have chosen to work part time to focus on family or are in their 1st or 2nd year out from medical school.

To address Mrs. Hermes claims directly that she spent money of “fake medical courses” and she had “patient care shifts with scant medical training” – look back over the previous section. If naturopathic doctors were poorly trained with “fake medical courses” and “patient care shifts with scant medical training” they would commit more medical errors and have more malpractice claims against them – their malpractice insurance rates would be high. The opposite is true – they have 75 times less malpractice claims on average, and have lower malpractice insurance rates.

To her 2nd point –The idea that NDs aren’t eligible for student loan forgiveness or that the options are very limited is a complete falsehood. Naturopathic Doctors ARE eligible for federal student loan forgiveness. When you work for an eligible non-profit full time, which is considered 30 or more hours, your student loans are forgiven after 10 years. Many NDs are currently taking this route.

Fact Check – Job Prospects for naturopaths are limited

Your naturopathic education will train you to be a primary care provider and a specialist in integrative medicine. There are currently 23 states that regulate naturopathic doctors. In states without licensure many people choose to practice as a consultant. The scope of practice varies in each state. In at least Oregon, Washington, and Vermont naturopathic doctors are licensed as primary care doctors, are covered by insurance, and have a full prescription formulary.

Jobs are available at private clinics, there are also jobs at the Universities, and one can start their own practice. Wellness centers are increasingly developed that employ NDs.

At Yale a naturopathic doctor was the director integrative medicine and taught pediatrics at their medical school.

Some graduates work for supplement companies as formula consultants or in other aspects of the nutraceutical industry.

Some go into research, or get jobs in public health.

An example of current Job Openings for NDs can be found here through the AANP, at the ND Job Link, or via a simple Google search.


I can’t speak as to what motivated Ms. Hermes to publish her blog. I think it’s clear from this and previous posts how she is being intentionally misleading on what naturopathic medicine is and what her education was like.

I went through the exact same classes that she did, with many of the same teachers. Somehow I’ve become a good doctor, make a good income, and have a good quality of life. I get to spend a lot of time with my patients, hear their stories, and give quality care. I’ve seen cases cured that the conventional system had run of ideas for. I’ve been told I saved a life by grateful parents.

If you’re a potential student – visit some naturopathic medical schools, visit some conventional schools. Compare their curriculums. Ask yourself what kind of doctor you want to be.

If you’re from the curious general public – look at the comprehensive education naturopathic doctors get and their low rates of malpractice claims. Visit an ND.

Britt Marie Hermes petition – Fact Check Part 2


It’s been an interesting couple of weeks since part one of this critique of Britt Marie Hermes petition was authored. She seemed genuinely rattled by a single blog post, while not addressing a single point that was brought up in the original article. It seems instead of talking facts, she’d rather play a game of insults. That’s not the way this works. We’re talking evidence and data.

Up to this point in time no one had called her out on her misrepresentations, lies, and exaggerations. This was probably out of fear. Mrs. Hermes and her followers have been harassing N.D.’s on social media and even personally. Most N.D.’s have practices with public faces that are an easy target for harassment. That fear of harassment isn’t unwarranted. Here is an email sent to this blog from one of her supporters:


That’s what I call reasonable debate! The coward who wrote that has ties to the site that originally promoted Mrs. Hermes and continues to promote her work.

If you missed the first post on Britt Marie Hermes’ petition, it’s worth a read, but here is a summary of the key points.

  1. Mrs. Hermes lied or mislead about her location on the petition – she is currently in Kiel, Germany getting a masters degree, but lists her location as the United States.
  2. N.D.’s have more hours of training then N.P.’s or P.A.’s and equal hours of training to M.D.’s. Residency requirements are the same as N.P.’s and P.A.’s (voluntary). Both N.P.’s and P.A.’s have prescribing rights in many states.
  3. The California Medical Society dropped their opposition to California ND license after vising Bastyr and seeing the quality of the education.
  4. Bastyr students do not have to “master” homeopathy, and do not have to use it in the clinic. Homeopathy is used as a diversion for a real debate on naturopathic medicine. It is 3 classes, 9 hours total, or less then 3% of the classroom hours. Many M.D.’s use homeopathy. It’s evidence is equivocal.
  5. Many, many trials show the efficacy of various botanical medicines. Botanical medicines work biochemically just like pharmaceuticals. Type your favorite herb into Pubmed. The same is true of balenotherapy, “therapies involving heat and water”. Lots of research there.
  6. She leaves out lots to her convenience – the fact that N.D.’s are trained in pharmaceuticals, the fact that N.D.’s have 5 classes on diet and nutrient therapies, and 3 classes in counseling. The latter 2 being series being absent in M.D. (and N.P./P.A.) curriculums.

Today’s post is going to fact check the end of her post – the citations

Four things are clear from going over the citations:

  1. She is shamelessly self-promoting using the “data and expert opinion” headline as a cover. She is the main source of “data and expert opinion” in three of the sources.
  2. Most of the citations are opinion blogs including four from the site whose shill wrote this blog and told the author to “just go away, wither, and die”.
  3. The primary research cited (the research published in peer reviewed journals) is cherry picked and all sources are based on data that is over 10 years old.
  4. She leaves out important randomized controlled trials supporting naturopathic medicine that are published in some of the top medical journals in the world. This research is more recent then any of the citations she used and would invalidate not just her petition, but the whole persona she created after being unsuccessful as an N.D.

I’ll explore these points in further detail below:

Atwood, Kimball C., IV (2003). “Naturopathy: A critical appraisal”. Medscape General Medicine 5 (4): 39.

Atwood IV, Kimball. C. (2004). “Naturopathy, pseudoscience, and medicine: Myths and fallacies vs truth”. Medscape General Medicine 6 (1): 33.

  • The first two citations of her petition are from the same M.D., both written in 2004. His main point is that naturopathic medicine hasn’t been studied, which at the time was true. At the time of publication there were no RCTs (Randomized Controlled Trials) of general naturopathic care. This is a pair of old articles, from a single person, who’s assertions just aren’t true anymore. Mrs. Hermes doesn’t include the latest important primary research on naturopathic medicine because it would invalidate her whole point and persona. This is research that is peer reviewed by M.D.’s and published in quality medical journals. Links to this research will be included at the end of this article.

Barrett, Stephen (2013). “A close look at naturopathy”. QuackWatch.

  • Quackwatch as a source? Really? An opinion blog, not primary research.

Wilson, K. (2005). “Characteristics of Pediatric and Adolescent Patients Attending a Naturopathic College Clinic in Canada”. Pediatrics 115 (3): e338–e343.

  • This citation is based on a 2002 survey that shows the pediatrics that present at a naturopathic clinic have a lower vaccination rate then the general pediatric population. This isn’t surprising considering that many people seek out naturopathic care after bad experiences with M.D.’s or from false notions about the conventional medical system. What it shows is the opportunity for N.D.’s to bring people “into the system” that would never see a conventional provider. N.D.’s are trained in the benefits of vaccines and vaccine administration and can be a conduit to better vaccination rates. See N.D.’s for vaccines website (

Boon, Heather S.; Cherkin, Daniel C.; Erro, Janet; Sherman, Karen J.; et al. (2004). “Practice patterns of naturopathic physicians: Results from a random survey of licensed practitioners in two U.S. States”. BMC Complementary & Alternative Medicine 20 (4): 14.

  • This is essentially a data gathering study that shows how N.D.’s practice. It’s worth a read, and certainly there is nothing in here to support the contents of the petition. From the conclusion: “Overall, naturopathic physicians spend more than twice as much time with patients as conventional physicians at each visit (40 minutes vs. 14 minutes) [16], permitting more time to discuss patients’ concerns and counseling/education about lifestyle issues such as diet.”

Busse, Jason W.; Wilson, Kumanan; Campbell, James B. (2008). “Attitudes towards vaccination among chiropractic and naturopathic students”. Vaccine 26 (49): 6237–6243.

  • The full text is behind a paywall, so there is no way to look at the data. The main flaw in this study is that it is cross sectional, which means the first year survey participants weren’t followed to see how their views changed. It just shows that first year students were more for vaccines then final year students at that particular point in time. It’s also based on old data.

Wilson, Kumanan; Mills, Ed; Boon, Heather; Tomlinson, George; Ritvo, Paul (2004). “A survey of attitudes towards pediatric vaccinations amongst Canadian naturopathic students”. Vaccine 22 (3-4): 329–334.

  • Again, behind a paywall. It has the same flaws as the other study. It’s cross sectional, meaning it takes a snapshot at a point in time and then tries to make a conclusion based on that differences in that snapshot. To get valuable data they should have surveyed the incoming students and then followed then each year to see how their attitudes changed. Also, the data used is at least 15 years old and would be distinctly different then if done today.

Downey L, et al. (2010). “Pediatric vaccination and vaccine-preventable disease acquisition: associations with care by complementary and alternative medicine providers.”. Matern Child Health J. 14 (6): 922–30.

  • This doesn’t study naturopaths directly, but any patient that had contact with a CAM provider – massage therapist, acupuncturist, etc.. It  shows that patients that visited CAM providers were more likely to acquire a vaccine preventable disease. It’s retrospective, and correlational. Did the parents have the bias against vaccines before visiting the CAM provider which is why that sought CAM in the first place? (see my thoughts above about well-trained N.D.’s being a way to bring vaccine-hesitant parents “into the system”) Being a retrospective, non-randomized study there is no way to tell. Very weak source.

That’s it for the primary citations. Cherry picking at its worst. Skip to the last part of this article for the much stronger primary research on naturopathic medicine she intentionally left out.


“Testimony in Opposition to H. 1992 and S. 1205, An Act to Create a Board of Registration in Naturopathy”. Massachusetts Medical Society. Massachusetts Medical Society.

  • No citations, an opinion piece. Medical societies across the U.S. have opposed N.D. licensure because they see N.D.’s as competition. It’s purely political and not based on the data. The national position of the American Medical Society is to oppose licensure of Naturopathic Doctors. To the credit of the California Medical Society, when they visited Bastyr and saw the quality of the education, they dropped their opposition.

The rest of her citations are blogs. Anyone can post a blog. It’s not peer reviewed before being published, and the selection of blogs and other secondary sources Mrs. Hermes cites shows an obvious bias.

Lipson, Peter. (2016). Naturopaths: Fake Doctors in White Coats? Forbes.

  • Forbes has continuously published articles trashing naturopathic medicine. They are not objective. Simply looking at the title shows this.

Caulfeild, Timothy. (2013). Don’t legitimize the witch doctors. National Post.

  • The author of the article says N.D.’s shouldn’t be regulated because they are “witch doctors”. Objectivity anyone? Nope. He then spends the rest of the text trashing homeopathy as his justification for not regulating naturopaths. Homeopathy is 3% of naturopathic medical education and isn’t required to be practiced. He also suggests there is no primary research supporting Naturopathic Medicine, which of course there is, and which Mrs. Hermes conveniently omitted from her list of sources.

Palmer, Brian. (2014). Quacking All the Way to the Bank: Naturopaths are winning insurance coverage for medical nonsense. Slate.

  • Quack. Witch Doctors. Fake Doctors. Are you starting to see a pattern here? Dudes with blogs that like to write catchy headlines and have an agenda. These aren’t clinicians (M.D.’s, D.O.’s, N.D.’s, etc..) These are keyboard warriors with an agenda. Here’s the first sentence from the article “Legislators in Washington state refuse to live in a world where only the wealthy can afford care from poorly trained health care providers who practice unproven medicine” He refuses to link (like the other blog writers cited) to the primary research that shows the efficacy of naturopathic medicine, as well as the cost savings to the health care system (over $1,000) per patient/per year that happens when people see a naturopathic doctor.

4 citations from This is the blog which “debuted Mrs. Hermes”, and from which I got the lovely email that told me to “crawl into a hole and die. Fuck ND.” Their agenda is purely anti-CAM and anti-science. Science looks for truth through objective testing. Naturopathic medicine when looked at under this lens shows that it works.

Various authors. Naturopathy vs Science.

Hermes, Britt. (2015). ND Confession, Part 1: Clinical training inside and out.

Hermes, Britt (2015). ND Confession, Part II: The Accreditation of Naturopathic “Medical” Education.

Hermes, Britt. Naturopathic Diaries.

The last 3 being herself as the “source”.

Mrs. Hermes heading for all of this is “data and expert opinion”. The lack of understanding of what can be considered data and “expert opinion” hints at why she was an unsuccessful practitioner. This author is familiar with the research community and if she was to present a similar list of citations, in the guise of being objective, for a research paper she would summarily be failed and kicked out of the program.

The primary research that was left out

There is a strong body of high quality evidence that shows that naturopathic medicine is effective and safe. These are 4 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of naturopathic medicine. This means the participants don’t know if they’ll be getting the treatment being studied, in this case naturopathic care, or a placebo.

Included is also a cost effectiveness analysis of one of the trials.

The journals that 3 of the RCTs are published in, PLos One, and CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal), are both top quality journals. In order to be published the research has to be reviewed by a team of medical doctors for a number of quality factors. They look at the methodology, they look at the data collection and analysis, they look at the conclusion to see if it makes sense based on the data. All of these studies passed muster and were publushed.

None of the primary research provided by Mrs. Hermes were RCTs. None of the primary research provided by Mrs. Hermes was on the efficacy of naturopathic medicine. They were all surveys on a single topic – vaccines. All, but a single source more then 10 years old. Cherry picking data, leaving the high quality data out of her “citations list”. It’s not science, it’s not looking at evidence, it having an agenda and doing what it takes to make a point. Highly unethical, and it speaks to why she failed as an ND.

Here is the primary research on naturopathic medicine that Mrs. Hermes conveniently omitted:

Seely D, et al. (2013). “Naturopathic medicine for the prevention of Cardiovascular Disease: a randomized clinical trial“. CMAJ. 185 (9):E409-16.

Herman PM, et al. (2014). “A naturopathic approach to the prevention of cardiovascular disease: cost-effectiveness analysis of a pragmatic multi-worksite randomized clinical trial“. J Occup Environ Med. 56 (2):171-6.

Cooley K, et al. (2009). “Naturopathic care for anxiety: a randomized controlled trial“. PLos One. 4 (8):e6628.

Szczurk, et al. (2009). “Naturopathic treatment of rotator cuff tendinitis among Canadian postal workers: a randomized controlled trial“. Arthritis Rheum. 61 (8): 1037-46.

Szczurko, et al. (2007). “Naturopathic care for chronic low back pain: a randomized trial“. PLos One. 2 (9):e919.

All of these studies show that naturopathic medicine is both safe and effective. All are randomized, the strongest type of trial. CMAJ. PLos One. – peer reviewed, highly respected journals. A future post will talk further about these randomized trials and what the data shows.

Intentional omissions, lies and bias

You can’t claim to be “science based” and then ignore the science that you don’t agree with. That’s practicing anti-science medicine just for the sake of being right. Mrs. Hermes would be kicked out of her master’s program if the citations list for her masters thesis looked anything like the one she included in her petition – citing herself, omitting data that doesn’t support her agenda. It’s a poor attempt at a smear campaign.

This petition has been the culmination of a year of effort to slander and discredit the profession while trying to build a “personal brand” as an expert on Naturopathic Medicine. With a little work Mrs. Hermes motives become clear. Instead of engaging in reasonable discussion on facts and data she would rather engage in slander, insults, and name calling . She continuously uses the words pseudoscience, and quackery to a comical effect. It shows she absolutely has an agenda and isn’t willing to objectively look at both the benefits and the real criticisms that need to be directed toward naturopathic medicine.

Britt Marie Hermes petition – Fact Check – Part 1


Britt Marie Hermes, author of The Naturopathic Diaries, started a petition with the title “Naturopaths are not doctors, stop legitimizing pseudoscience”.  In this post we’re going to get to the truth and will be fact checking the claims she makes.

Taking it from the top:


Pretty bold claim, especially coming from someone that was an unsuccessful Naturopathic Doctor. There is a problem though. She lists her location as being the United States. She currently lives in Germany as she has stated in her blog multiple times. Before even leaving the headline, we have a lie. It’s not clear why she wanted to lie here, but it may be because she is petitioning the U.S. government for legislation that just effects U.S. citizens while residing in a foreign country. Seems pretty shady. Of course there may be merit still to her claims, but starting off with a lie before anything has even been written is not a good way to start.

Let’s see what we have next:


Taking a look at the course description from Bastyr, we get an objective view of the curriculum. Every naturopathic medical student has a number of science based prerequisites they have to take (chemistry, physics, psychology, and biology). Once accepted they have training that is heavily science based. They have gross anatomy (cadaver dissection lab) for a whole year, physiology (the mechanics of how the body works), and with the integrative curriculum histology, biochemistry, anatomy, are all integrated by body systems.

The author of this article doesn’t have the time to do a complete comparison of each profession in this post, but ND’s have more training then NP’s (nurse practitioners) or PA’s (physicians assistants) and equal training (hours wise) to medical doctors. Both MD’s and ND’s have science based educations. MD’s are required to have 3 years of residency, ND’s are not required to have a residency although residencies are sought out by many students. Residencies for Naturopathic Doctors will be addressed in a future post. A more through comparison can be found here.

It’s worth asking – If the training of Naturopathic Doctors is so poor, why are they being accepted by their conventional peers? If they weren’t well trained then their medical doctor colleges should be able to see right through their lack of competency. The opposite is true. The California medical society was originally opposed to the licensing of naturopathic doctors, but after visiting Bastyr and seeing how the students were being educated,  they dropped their opposition and ND’s became licensed in California. I would trust a society of medical doctors and students happy with their education over one unsuccessful naturopathic doctor with a clear axe to grind.

There are many successful practitioners that have come from Bastyr, helping tens of thousands of patients every day, while working adjunctively with conventional providers. Cancer Treatment Centers of America employs Naturopathic Doctors, because of their ability to provide quality adjunctive care. If naturopathic doctors were not trained similarly to conventional providers they would not be able to work in adjunctive care environments like that at Cancer Treatment Centers of America and many integrative clinics across Canada and The United States.

Moving on – Paragraph #3



Homeopathy is going to be a controversial topic until either a mechanism is proven to show how it works, humanity ends with an asteroid hitting the earth, or what looks increasing likely when Donald Trump is elected president (apologies to Donald Trump supporters, but having his temperamental finger on the nuclear button scares the shit out of this author). Overall, the data on homeopathy isn’t clear. One meta-analysis will show that it is more beneficial then placebo, the next shows it’s no more then placebo. What is clear is that many people, both medical doctors, and naturopaths use homeopathy because it has been shown to be effective clinically. To turn a discussion of naturopathic medicine into a discussion on homeopathy is false. Students take 3 classes on homeopathy and aren’t required to use it, let it alone “master it”, once they are in the clinic. Mrs. Hermes knows this having attended Bastyr, and her saying “Naturopathic students are required to master..” falls somewhere between intentionally misleading and an outright lie.

Herbs are natural sources of chemicals that have a physiological effect on the body. Herbs typically have many active chemicals. Pharmaceuticals are a single chemicals (or sometimes 2 or 3) that have a physiological effect on the body.  Herbs = chemicals that have a physiological effect on the body. Pharmaceuticals = chemicals that have a physiological effect on the body. It’s ridiculous to use herbalism as a pejorative. And to stay that herbs haven’t been studied is just bullshit. Type your favorite herb into pubmed and see what comes up.

Chiropractic-like manipulations are taught. Big deal. The author of this article isn’t clear on the data behind manipulations, but performed correctly while screening out patients with contraindications (which are taught in the physical manipulation classes) makes this a moot point.

Therapies involving heat and water…. wooo. She’s drawing at straws here. Germans and many Europeans have integrated balneotherapy (water therapy) into their lives. In fact there are over 12,000 journal articles supporting its use. I bet since being in Germany Mrs. Hermes has used water therapy. If she hasn’t, she should get on it. Not all things that effect human health and wellness are pharmaceuticals.

She also leaves out the fact that naturopaths are trained in pharmaceuticals, diet and nutrition, and counseling. That’s  convenient isn’t it? If all sides were presented that makes her argument invalid. Like most of the things she’s written, she hasn’t wanted to present facts, so she has omitted important information that would refute her arguments.

This post will be continued in Part 2.

The author of this post expects attempts to change parts of the petition after this is posted. Screenshots have been taken of the way the petition originally appeared on 06/02/16 at 12:30PM PST and will be linked to the end of part 2.