Governor Charlie Baker Signs a Bill Recognizing Naturopathic Medicine in Massachusetts

Courtesy: Creative Commons
Courtesy: Creative Commons

By Shaynah Ferreira 1/22/2017
Naturopathic Doctors are now being recognized in the state of Massachusetts.

The recognition has come from a bill that was signed by Governor Charlie Baker. This alternative medical approach is known as a holistic medicine that relies on low-risk, natural remedies to treat numerous diseases and conditions.

This development comes after more than two decades of controversy and those in opposition criticizing the remedies as “unorthodox.” The Massachusetts Medical society (MMS), has traditionally been opposed to naturopathic treatment due to lack of evidence-based methods.

“Licensing is likely to be perceived by the public as an endorsement of an area of care that lacks rigorous medical training and standards of care, and offers few if any treatments based on clinical and scientific evidence,” said MMS President James Gessner.

The State’s Society of Naturopathic Doctors opposes the MMS. The president Amy Rothenberg saying, “This law allows the people of Massachusetts access to well-educated and trained naturopathic doctors and their expertise in both preventative medicine and natural integrative care.”

Massachusetts has become the 19th state along with Washington, D.C. to license this option for millions of residents. Doctors who practice naturopathy do not attend conventional medical schools, they often earn degrees from four-year postgraduate schools. Governor Baker’s bill will prohibit naturopathic doctors from being called physicians, primary care doctors, from performing surgeries and from prescribing medicine to patients.

The Massachusetts Medical Society urges patients to “be cautious when considering naturopathic treatments.”