In the USA, after completion of standard premedical undergraduate coursework, a Naturopathic Doctor (N.D.) attends a rigorous four-year graduate level naturopathic medical school. He/she is educated in all of the same basic sciences as an Medical Doctor but also studies holistic and natural approaches to therapy with a strong emphasis on disease prevention and optimising wellness. The training consists of comprehensive study of the conventional medical sciences including : anatomy, physiology, pathology, microbiology, immunology, clinical and physical diagnosis, laboratory diagnosis, cardiology, gastroenterology, gynecology, etc.

In addition to a standard medical curriculum, the Naturopathic Doctor is required to complete four years of training in clinical nutrition, homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, psychology, and counseling (to encourage people to make lifestyle changes in support of their personal health). The naturopathic program includes two full years of supervised clinical training. Completion of optional residency is also available to some graduates. A Naturopathic Doctor takes a rigorous national licensing examination so that he or she may be licensed by a state or jurisdiction as a Naturopathic Physician. Additional information on naturopathic schools can be found at

Naturopathic Doctors take a national board exam, Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Exam (NPLEX), and attain a state license where it is available. Physicians are responsible for people's health and as such must meet the highest standards of training.

In South Africa, Naturopaths are registered with the Allied Health Professions Council. The same council that oversees Chiropractors, Homeopaths, and Acupuncturists among others. The only degree recognised by the Allied Health Professional Council to be registered as a Naturopath in South Africa is the 5 year program available through the school of Natural Medicine at the UWC. In South Africa, Naturopaths are considered General Practitioners and receive a practice number.