April 2011: The AANP Meets the AMA

By Karen Howard, Executive Director

On May 10, AANP President Carl Hangee-Bauer, ND, and I will meet with the American Medical Association (AMA) at their Chicago headquarters, along with other nine professions from the Coalition for Patients Rights who were included in the AMA’s “Scope of Practice Data Series,” to discuss the reality of modern day inter-professional collaboration and the expertise we bring to patients. In 2009, the AMA targeted naturopathic medicine in its Scope of Practice Partnership (SOPP), an effort to restrict non-MD and DO providers from enhancing their scope of practice to meet the level of their training. The AANP, in response to their inaccurate misrepresentation of ND education and training, actively participates in the Coalition for Patient Rights. The Coalition consists of 35 organizations representing 3.3 million providers.

Despite AMA opposition, AANP State Affiliates continue to gain ground, increasing scope and gaining licensure laws. Why? Committed volunteer NDs are relentless in their efforts to educate legislators on their education and training. Our academic institutions and the CNME adhere to federal and state accreditation standards that mirror that of allopathic medicine. And NDs all over the country, in licensed and unlicensed jurisdictions, maintain a commitment to the highest standards of the professionalism. Evidence of that is reflected in our licensing laws and bills that require all licensed NDs to have graduated from CNME approved schools and pass the NPLEX. Carrying an active license to practice naturopathic medicine is indeed a badge of honor. It demonstrates commitment to your patients, commitment to continuing education and providing quality care, and commitment to advocating for laws that enable NDs to serve the primary care and prevention needs of at-risk populations across the country. Legislators understand why their constituents want access to naturopathic medicine. Perhaps the AMA will, too.