Naturopathic Medicine is a unique + distinct system of health care that emphasizes the use of prevention + natural therapeutics. The doctors who practice naturopathic medicine are trained to serve as primary care general practitioners who are experts in the prevention, diagnosis, management + treatment of both acute + chronic health conditions. Naturopathic medical doctors are trained at accredited, four-year, post-graduate, residential naturopathic medical schools. The training consists of comprehensive study of the conventional medical sciences, including anatomy, physiology, pathology, microbiology, immunology, clinical + physical diagnosis, laboratory diagnosis, cardiology, gastroenterology, gynecology, etc, as well as detailed study of a wide variety of natural therapies. Naturopathic medical doctors use a variety of natural + non-invasive therapies, including clinical nutrition, homeopathy, botanical medicine, hydrotherapy, physical medicine + counseling. Many naturopathic doctors have additional training + certification in acupuncture + natural child birth. Naturopathic treatments are effective in treating a wide variety of conditions without the need for additional intervention. Naturopathic medical doctors function within an integrated framework + naturopathic therapies can be used to complement treatments used by physicians who are solely trained in conventional, or mainstream, medicine. The result is a patient-centered approach that strives to provide the most appropriate treatment for an individual’s needs. In the United States, the naturopathic medical profession’s infrastructure includes accredited educational institutions, professional licensing, national standards of practice, peer review + a commitment to state-of-the-art scientific research.