About Naturopathic Medicine Clinical Training
An education in naturopathic medicine requires much more than textbooks and medical equipment. Careful faculty mentorship is a significant part of Bastyr's Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine program.
Consistency and Quality in Training
At Bastyr's Seattle teaching clinic, Bastyr Center for Natural Health, as well as at off-site community care clinics, you are trained to be a primary care physician capable of treating a broad spectrum of patients. This training emphasizes the highest standards in patient assessment, differential diagnosis, medical record documentation, referral practices and patient follow-up.
You will learn from faculty who are outstanding physicians and recognized leaders in their fields. Your shift supervisor encourages, leads and directs each patient/clinician encounter while allowing you gradually increasing levels of autonomy.
Diverse Patient Population
Between the 35,000 yearly patient visits to Bastyr Center and our 12 community care clinic sites in the greater Seattle area, you will have many opportunities to treat a wide variety of patient populations, including:
While the majority of shifts concentrate on general medicine, specialized training shifts also are available in:
- Physical medicine (including hydrotherapy)
- Lifestyle counseling
- Environmental medicine
- Immune wellness
- Minor office procedures (such as wound repair and skin lesion removal)
- Integrative pain clinic
- Integrated acupuncture and naturopathic medicine
- Diabetes and cardiovascular disease
- Lyme disease
Patient Contacts/Training Hours
- You will average close to 600 patient contacts through a minimum of 1,200 clinical training hours.
- Bastyr Center utilizes a Team Care training approach, assigning two advanced naturopathic student clinicians to one exam room with one instructor observing and supervising their work for an entire quarter.
- You will know in advance which patients you'll be seeing at Bastyr Center each day, giving you time to properly prepare.
- You also are required to complete 132 preceptor hours shadowing health care professionals in their practices.
Dual-Degree Programs for Washington ND Students
Naturopathic medicine students at the Kenmore, Wash., campus can broaden their therapeutic knowledge and future practice by earning a dual degree. With careful planning, adding a second professional licensure to an ND degree can benefit future clinical work by broadening the scope of your practice.
Dual-degree options for ND students at Bastyr University in Washington include:
- Master of Science in Acupuncture
- Master of Science in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
- Master of Science in Midwifery
- Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology
- Master of Public Health
Pursuing a second degree during the ND program is a rigorous undertaking, and requires students to remain in good standing in each program. Dual-degree students begin the ND program first. Then they typically apply to the additional degree program during the second year of the four-year ND track or third year of the five-year extended track, although earlier entry may be possible.
Advantages, challenges and application processes can vary for each dual-degree program. Contact ndadvise[at]bastyr[dot]edu for more information.
Program Summary - ND
Students study naturopathic medicine at Bastyr University because they seek a career that resonates with their core values, including a belief in natural healing and whole-person medicine. They prepare for success as naturopathic doctors with the support of our state-of-the-art clinical training model, which prepares students to formulate effective, personalized treatment plans for patients.
This in-depth clinical training, coupled with Bastyr's robust basic sciences curriculum, is responsible for our graduates consistently earning top scores on the Naturopathic Licensing Examinations (NPLEX). And because our graduates speak the common language of science, they work as peers with other health care providers in integrative settings.
- Beginning in fall quarter of their first year, students train extensively at the University's teaching clinic, Bastyr Center for Natural Health, as well as at several Seattle-area public clinics.
- Passionate faculty and a strong academic advising program.
- Close proximity to the forested 316-acre Saint Edward State Park, which features miles of hiking, running and biking trails.
- A multi-disciplinary curriculum that allows students to explore natural health care modalities outside the School of Naturopathic Medicine. Students take classes from the University's other degree programs in nutrition, health psychology, herbal sciences, East Asian medicine and exercise science.
- The ND program offers dual degrees with acupuncture and East Asian medicine, midwifery, counseling psychology and ayurvedic sciences.
- A research institute, supported in part by funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), allows students to engage in numerous research projects, including studies on botanical medicines, herbal supplements and complementary oncology therapies.
- Small class sizes coupled with the University's numerous resources, including: financial aid, student housing, whole food cafeteria, a health sciences library and a 51-acre Seattle-area campus.
- A well-developed residency program for naturopathic doctors at Bastyr Center for Natural Health.
- A diverse student body drawn from all across the United States and 28 other countries.
Extended Track - Naturopathic Medicine Degree
Students have the option of completing the naturopathic medicine program in a five-year extended-track curriculum. This slightly lessens the number of course credits each quarter. Students can extend the program by stretching out the first two years of their program to three years (referred to as 5XA):
- The first 2 years of the program averages 25.6 credits per term and includes more basic sciences than clinical sciences.
- This 5-year option allows students to spread this credit load over three years, dropping the average credit load to 21 in the first year, 15.5 in the second year and 16 in the third year.
- The basic science classes are concentrated in your first and third years, with modality classes in your second year.
- Staring the summer of your third year you return to the 4 year credit load for your 4/5 (19.75) and 5/5 (13.25) years
- Clinic Observation 1 is completed year 1 and Clinic Observation 2 is spread over your 2/5 and 3/5 years. You enter clinic as an NMS3 in your 4/5 year
- You take your Basic Science boards during the summer between your 3/5 and 4/5 year
- Usually about 20 percent of any class is on the 5-year track.
Students can also extend the program by stretching out the last two years of their program to three years (referred to as 5XB). Generally, students opt for the 5XA extension during the first year of the program, and the 5XB extension late in the 2nd year of the program. The extra room in either schedule allows for the addition of a second program.
Curriculum - Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine
Integrated, Hybrid Curriculum Focuses on Real-World Experiences
Naturopathic medicine students immediately gain real-world experience in the classroom as well as in a clinical setting through Bastyr University’s integrated, hybrid curriculum.
In fall semester of their first year, students begin clinical training as observers at Bastyr Center for Natural Health in Seattle or Bastyr University Clinic in San Diego, allowing them to bring patient stories and real clinical experiences back to the classroom.
Each year, the case study discussion classes build on prior years by continually bringing in concepts learned earlier. To help students think more like doctors instead of scientists from the start, disciplines such as anatomy and physiology are combined with case study classes and the clinical experience.
Throughout the curriculum, faculty coordinate their lessons to help students learn how the concepts connect and how the disciplines work together to support each body system (i.e. respiratory system, circulatory system, cardiovascular system). This hybrid curriculum encourages a more independent and interactive learning environment with preparatory online coursework, voice-over PowerPoint lectures, webinars and other multimedia, so the classroom discussions can be a case-based application of the course content.
For more information, read our article Bastyr Launches New Integrated, Patient-Centered Naturopathic Medicine Curriculum.
Expected Learning Outcomes
School of Naturopathic Medicine Professional Competencies:
Naturopathic Medical Leader
- Integrate naturopathic philosophy and principles into the care of patients, including honoring the sacredness of the therapeutic relationship
- Develop, maintain and value a comprehensive knowledge base that includes both biomedical sciences and naturopathic principles
- Prepare an assessment incorporating all appropriate history, physical examination, and diagnostic testing in order to formulate a naturopathic medical diagnosis
- Establish and sustain proficiency in a full range of therapeutic approaches
- Demonstrate consideration and accountability for clinical management decisions and their long-term implications
- Integrate outcome assessment and evidence-based medicine into every patient encounter
- Recognize the limitations of knowledge, skills, and scope of practice, and solicit a consultation or referral when appropriate
Naturopathic Health Advocate
- Educate other health professionals, patients, and the public about the benefits of naturopathic medicine and a healthy lifestyle
- Practice self-care in accordance with the principles of naturopathic medicine
- Collaborate with others to advocate for health promotion and disease prevention for both individuals and the community
- Promote environmental awareness and sustainable medical practices to improve the health of humans and the rest of the natural world
Naturopathic Health Professional and Scholar
- Communicate with patients, colleagues, and other members of the community with sensitivity to cultural and socioeconomic differences and act with compassion and respect for human dignity, individuality and rights
- Demonstrate integrity and respect the laws and regulations in the jurisdiction of practice, including placing the protection of the public ahead of self-interest
- Master the entrepreneurial skills necessary to establish a thriving practice
- Utilize technology to optimize medical care and business operations
- Maintain and advance professional competence through ongoing education and research
The following curriculum tables list the tentative schedule of courses each quarter. Next to each course are the number of credits per course (Crdt.), the lecture hours each week (Lec.) the lab/clinic hours each week (L/C) and the total contact hours for the course over the entire quarter (Tot.).
The attached PDF is the proposed curriculum for students starting in Fall 2016. Please note that changes to the curriculum may still occur before the start of the Fall 2016 academic year. For the 2015-2016 course catalog, click here.Click here to download the PDF file.
Quick Facts - ND
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND)
- Bachelor’s degree
- Grade C or better in prerequisite coursework
- Concrete exposure to the practice of naturopathic medicine, by job-shadowing if possible, or by interviews with one or more naturopathic physicians
- While there is no minimum GPA requirement, the historical average GPA for admitted students is 3.4
- See all prerequisite information for naturopathic medicine program or read about our post-bacc program for completing prerequisites
Length of Program
- Four years for full-time students
- Five years for dual-degree tracks
Performance Fact Sheet for the California ND Program
Pursuant to the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009, prospective students are encourage to preview Bastyr University California's 2016 Performance Fact Sheet for this program. New students will be required to sign this fact sheet prior to enrolling.
- Naturopathic doctor working as a primary natural care physician in private practice or at a clinic dedicated to integrative medicine
- Research scientist studying natural medicine
- Naturopathic consultant/advocate in industry, insurance or the political arena
- Wellness entrepreneur
- Natural medicine spokesperson/advisor
- Rural community doctor
- Dietary supplement entrepreneur or natural products specialist
- Corporate wellness educator
- Public health administrator
- Natural medicine author/public speaker
- Faculty member in naturopathic or conventional medical institution
Where are Naturopathic Physicians Licensed?
Currently, 17 states, five Canadian provinces, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands all have laws regulating naturopathic doctors. Learn more about licensure from the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges.Click here to download the PDF file.
Tuition for Master's & Doctoral Degrees
Average first-year costs for a typical credit load in the 2016-17 academic year.The first year is considered fall, winter and spring quarters.
Average CreditsFirst year.
Tuition & FeesFees include a $25 quarterly student activity fee. See the University Catalog for a full schedule of fees.
Books & Supplies
TotalThe budget used to determine financial-aid eligibility allows for an additional $21,600 for a 9-month period of living expenses.
|Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine||76||$33,896||$6300||$40,196|
|Master of Science in Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine||67||
|Master of Science in Acupuncture||58||$27,440||$2900||$30,340|
|Combined BS/MS in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine||65||$27,974||$3250||$31,224|
|Master of Science in Nutrition||44||
Master of Science in Nutrition with Didactic Program in Dietetics
|Master of Science in Nutrition and Clinical Health Psychology||50||$25,671||$2500||$28,171|
|Master of Science in Nutrition for Wellness||43||$24,684||$2150||$26,834|
|Master of Science in Midwifery $3,000 in extra transportation costs are automatically added for out-of-state students. Midwifery students living in Washington will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis for this addition.||43||$25,342||$2150||$27,492|
|Master of Public Health||29.5||$20,961||$1475||$22,436|
|Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology||36||$24,684||$1800||$26,484|
|Master of Arts in Maternal-Child Health Systems||45||$28,302||$2250||$30,552|
See also Financial Aid at Bastyr
PLEASE NOTE: For financial aid purposes, cost of attendance includes costs above plus $21,600 per nine months to cover room & board, transportation, and miscellaneous expenses.
Naturopathic Medicine Residency Program
Bastyr University has a well-established residency program at the Bastyr Center for Natural Health. In addition, the University has several affiliate residency training programs. The School of Naturopathic Medicine is a recognized sponsor of postdoctoral naturopathic medical education by the Council of Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME).
All these programs are highly competitive and attract graduates from other institutions as well as from Bastyr University. Each residency is a closely supervised program in which a resident progresses from a purely observational role into an independent role over the course of one year. This progression is monitored and facilitated by a faculty mentor and program administrator.
For additional questions regarding the application process or on the available residency programs, please contact Dr. Gary Garcia, Director of Graduate and Community Medicine at (206) 834-4124 or via email at ggarcia[at]bastyr[dot]edu.
STAIR Residency Scholarship Program
The STAIR Residency Scholarship Program is a collaboration between Bastyr University and Integrative Therapeutics, Inc. (ITI) Under this program, ITI will offer one, one-year, fully paid postgraduate naturopathic residency scholarships. All selected training sites will be CNME-approved through Bastyr University and will be part of the Bastyr’s growing network of affiliate residency programs.
The deadline for submitting a completed application was January 12, 2015. Please contact Gary Garcia, MD, MHA at (206) 834-4124 or via email at ggarcia[at]bastyr[dot]edu if you have any questions.