Homeopathic Doctor: Salary and Career Facts
Explore the career requirements for homeopathic doctors. Get the facts about education, job growth and salary to determine if this is the right career for you.
What Is a Homeopathic Doctor?
Homeopathic doctors may be medical or naturopathic doctors who incorporate homeopathy into their medical treatments. These professionals can employ diagnostic methods that are not only physical, but also psychological or physiological in nature. They document patient histories, including psychosocial elements, and advise patients on health regimens. The treatments they prescribe often consist of natural medicines and remedies, such as herbs and dietary supplements. The following chart provides an overview about becoming a homeopathic doctor.
|Degree Required||Doctor of Medicine (M.D.), Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (N.D.), Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.)|
|Training Required||3- to 8-year residency or supervised clinical experience may be required|
|Key Responsibilities||Prescribe individualized homeopathic remedies to treat medical conditions; examine, assess, diagnose and treat patients; perform or order diagnostic tests; prescribe medication; refer patients to other medical specialists|
|Licensure||All states require medical doctors and osteopathic doctors to be licensed; some states license naturopathic doctors; 3 states also license the practice of homeopathic medicine|
|Job Growth (2018-2028)||7% growth (for all physicians and surgeons)*|
|Median Salary (2019)||$70,986 (for naturopathic physicians)**|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com
Both medical doctors and naturopathic doctors may practice homeopathic medicine. Homeopathy is an alternative medical practice that uses substances derived from animals, minerals or plants, such as crushed whole bees, herbs or red onions, to treat disease. In contrast, naturopathic medicine is a primary form of health care that addresses the underlying causes of disease and emphasizes a preventative and whole-person approach to healing. Naturopathic degree programs sometimes include training in homeopathic therapies, as well as related coursework in botanicals.
To practice as a homeopathic doctor, you will need to earn a Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Naturopathy or Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (N.D.). To qualify for entry into one of these 4-year programs, you must have a bachelor's degree and a solid science background. Classes in biology, chemistry, botany, physiology and anatomy are beneficial.
In a naturopathic medical program, you receive standard medical training, as well as training in clinical nutrition, homeopathic medicine, acupuncture, botanical medicine and psychology. You can also study holistic approaches to disease prevention and treatment. The last two years of study often focus on practical training in a clinical environment to prepare you for practice after graduation.
Some states maintain licensing laws in order for homeopathic doctors to practice. In these states, you must obtain your degree from a program accredited by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education to be eligible to sit for the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Exam (NPLEX). Licensed practitioners may need to complete continuing education on an ongoing basis as established in each state. Check the state in which you expect to work for specific licensing and continuing education requirements.
In addition to licensure, you may consider completing a residency program after graduating. Although not generally required, many new homeopathic doctors choose to practice under the supervision of professional naturopathic doctors before beginning their own practice. These programs can last one or two years and are designed to provide additional training and education to help new doctors become better doctors.
With your doctoral degree, you will have many opportunities in the natural medicine and health care industries. You could work in a hospital, integrative clinic or community health center as a primary care physician. You can join an existing practice with another N.D. or begin your own private practice. Some homeopathic doctors share a multi-disciplinary practice with other licensed naturopathic professionals, such as massage therapists, acupuncturists and herbalists. In any medical facility, you will diagnose and treat a variety of ailments, such as chronic pain, respiratory conditions, fertility problems and allergies. You may also perform minor surgeries, conduct lab diagnoses and advise patients on better dietary choices. Your state's laws will determine your specific scope of practice.
In addition to working as a primary care physician in a medical facility, you can pursue a career in research and development in an alternative or conventional medical institution, university or the natural products industry. Other career options include working as a natural pharmacist, wellness educator, public health administrator or industry consultant.
According to the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges (AANMC), the number of naturopathic doctors practicing has grown substantially over the past decade. This rise in employment is likely a response to a growing interest in alternative approaches to conventional medicine. The growing number of homeopathic doctors will continue to enhance job opportunities for new graduates looking to gain experience through residency programs or join existing practices. In 2015, the AANMC also reported that about 13% of all N.D.s were working in their own multi-disciplinary clinics. By contrast, more seasoned N.D.s with at least ten years experience worked in solo practices. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected that overall employment of physicians and surgeons will grow faster than average from 2018 to 2028.
The income of naturopathic doctors varies widely according to geographic region, type of clientele and place of employment. According to data compiled by the AANMC in 2015, graduates of professional naturopathic medicine programs who practice full-time earned an average annual income of about $89,392. Your income can also vary with experience.
What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?
Some related careers include those of family and general practitioners, as well as physician assistants. Family and general practitioners serve the public, diagnosing and treating patients that don't require specialized care. A professional doctorate in medicine is required in order to enter the field, along with a residency and sometimes a fellowship as well. Physician assistants work with physicians to execute and interpret medical exams and advise patients on treatments. Most times, this career only requires a master's degree and professional licensure, so physician assisting could make sense if you don't want to complete the more extensive education required of physicians.