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Amy Fasig, Naturopathic Physician

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Each state regulates and/or licenses the practice of naturopathic medicine differently. In Washington, “No person may practice naturopathy or represent himself or herself as a naturopath without first applying for and receiving a license from the secretary to practice naturopathy.” RCW 18.36A.030(1). The governing legislation can be found in the Revised Code of Washington. Under this legislation, more specific regulations are developed by the Washington Department of Health, and can be found in the Washington Administrative Code.

Generally, to become licensed, a naturopathic physician must have graduated from a state approved doctorate degree program in naturopathy and have successfully passed a state licensure examination, overseen by the
North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners, which tests an applicant’s knowledge of both basic and clinical sciences. An additional test, issued by the Department of Health, covers the state law and administrative regulations as they affect the practice of naturopathy.

Washington’s close regulation of the field is one of the reasons that Washington affords its naturopathic physicians one of the broadest scopes of practice in the nation. In addition to the core therapies or modalities of naturopathic medicine, naturopathic physicians are currently able to prescribe a number of prescriptive medications and pharmacological substances such as antibiotics, birth control pills, thyroid medications, diuretics, and bio-identical hormones. At this time, the Department of Health is in the process of developing and adopting additional rules which will further broaden naturopathic physicians’ scope of practice and prescriptive authority.