Who's Behind the Curtain?
Jud Richland, MPH, AANP CEO
An integrated network of professionals and advocates
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
by: Jud Richland, MPH, AANP CEO

Section: ED Update

One of the privileges of being part of the AANP leadership is that I’m in frequent contact with other leading naturopathic organizations. This provides a valuable vantage point to see how the naturopathic medicine community is moving ahead on many fronts.
Many of the leading North American naturopathic organizations meet regularly as the Naturopathic Coordinating Council (NCC). The organizations share information and identify opportunities to collaborate to advance consensus priorities. Collectively, our organizations are committed to advocating for NDs, to maintaining a high level of professionalism and competence, to growing the profession, and to increasing public awareness of naturopathic medicine.
I want to share with you highlights of some of the important activities that our partner organizations are carrying out. Descriptions of what each of these organizations do could go on for many pages, but I’m limited by space…
The Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges continues to aggressively market naturopathic medical education to prospective students. AANMC has completed the first draft of a set of professional competencies that naturopathic medical students should possess upon graduation. Among other things, the competencies will help align curricula among naturopathic medical schools. By the way, AANMC has recently launched a new website at www.aanmc.org– make sure to check it out.
The Council for Naturopathic Medical Education, the organization responsible for accrediting naturopathic medical programs, recentlyadopted a draft proposal to allow ND programs to use some online and blended learning approaches to deliver educational content. CNME will soon circulate the proposal for comment. CNME has also begun planning a comprehensive review of its accreditation standards, a critical step in ensuring high quality educational programs.
The Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors, AANP’s Canadian counterpart, successfully convinced the Canadiangovernment to exempt ND services from the national Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax. Depending on the province/territory, this will save patients 5-15% of the cost of naturopathic care. Also, last week was Canada’s Naturopathic Medicine Week, with over 130 events taking place around the country.
The Naturopathic Medical Student Association is excited to have hired Susan Yirku as its first professional executive director. One important initiative begun at the NMSA is to gather state origin information from students. This will enable state associations seeking licensure to more easily connect with students from that state to support advocacy efforts.
This is just a quick snapshot of a few of the initiatives being led by some of the NCC member organizations. Other NCC members are carrying out equally notable activities. Those members include:
  • AANP’s House of Delegates (representing AANP’s many affiliate organizations),
  • The Federation of Naturopathic Medicine Regulatory authorities (representing state regulatory boards and committees),
  • The North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners/NPLEX (NABNE administers the NPLEX),
  • The Naturopathic Post-Graduate Association, which aims to promote high-quality naturopathic medicine residencies, and
  • Natural Doctors International, which serves global health by bringing integrative health professionals to the underserved.
The NCC also includes leaders from each of the accredited North American medical schools.
Together, these organizations comprise an integrated network of professionals and advocates working collaboratively to advance naturopathic medicine. This infrastructure, while invisible to many, helps make possible the practice of naturopathic medicine in North America. The organizations’ collective success is realized when your patient leaves the office having received the best possible care and is on a path toward good health.
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