|Posted:||January 15, 2013 02:40 PM|
|From:||Representative Mark Mustio|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||SUBJECT: LICENSURE OF NATUROPATHIC PHYSICIANS – STATE BOARD OF MEDICINE|
|In the near future, I will introduce legislation to license Naturopathic Doctors under the State Board of Medicine. Licensure of Naturopathic Doctors will help to fill the medical void in many communities lacking general practice doctors. Naturopathic Doctors complete a four-year, graduate level medical school program and pass medical boards. These Doctors are highly trained specialists in the areas of nutrition, herbal medicine, homeopathy, and are the only group of medical providers trained in herb-drug and herb-nutraceutical interactions.
Currently, 15 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have licensing laws for naturopathic doctors. In these states, Naturopathic Doctors work side by side with medical doctors to provide integrative care and routinely consult with MDs on drug-herb interactions and natural alternatives to conventional care. In Pennsylvania, hospitals have already begun to integrate the services of Naturopathic Doctors. The Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Philadelphia currently has ten Naturopathic Doctors (N.D.’s) on staff to provide integrative care for its patients. U.P.M.C. Shadyside Hospital has a center for integrative medicine with an N.D. on staff and Hershey Medical Center has some of its students do rotations with Naturopathic Doctors.
Licensure of Naturopathic Doctors will help patients who are seeking naturopathic medical care select qualified and accredited practitioners. However, my legislation will not limit any other practitioner from using natural therapies as they have been or are currently permitted, provided they don’t use the title Naturopathic Doctor. It will not limit the sales of supplements, botanicals, or homeopathic remedies at retail stores, offices, and pharmacies or by the general public.
Licensure of Naturopathic Doctors would give Pennsylvania residents a choice in their health care and provide for an integrative model of healthcare. The patients of Pennsylvania Naturopathic Doctors deserve access to the care their doctors can provide and the State of Pennsylvania needs quality care providers who will reduce the burden of chronic disease.
Similar legislation has been introduced in the past three sessions. Cosponsors of last year’s bill included MUSTIO , MAHER , BEAR , KILLION , CUTLER , DENLINGER , FLECK , FREEMAN , GEIST , MARSHALL , MUNDY , NEUMAN, WHITE , GERGELY , READSHAW , AUMENT, GIBBONS , M. SMITH , KOTIK , WAGNER and PRESTON