Geography of Naturopathic Physicians in the United States

Author: Albert, Donald P. and Ferry Butar Butar
This book is the first in-depth geographic treatment of naturopathic physicians in the United States. It consists of seven articles that have previously been published in scholarly journals read primarily by a narrow group of specialists. The articles have been published together in this format to give them a wide availability and to provide a more comprehensive overview.


“This book represents the first in-depth geographic treatment of naturopathic physicians (NDs) since the most recent revival of naturopathic medicine in the United States. The authors have examined patterns of NDs and licensure at the international (Canada and the United States), state (especially Arizona, Connecticut, Oregon, and Washington), city and ZIP Code scales of analysis using data from 2000 to 2004. These studies describe distributions of ND locations and predict patterns of state and provincial legislation providing licensing credentials for naturopathic physicians. This comprehensive, scholarly work will provide a benchmark for measuring the continued growth of the naturopathic profession that is expected to occur in the next decade or so. The detailed description and critique of methodologies used to assess and predict patterns of growth of this emerging profession will provide useful guidelines for future studies ... The authors also address potential health policy implications that might arise from counting NDs as MDs for the purpose of designating health professional shortage areas (HPSAs) ... The recent success of naturopathic medicine bodes well for the eventual integration of NDs, or at least naturopathic therapies, within biomedicine. While the success of naturopathic medicine rests outside the scope of geographic inquiry, this important compilation provides one perspective from which to measure its growth in the coming decades.” – (From the Preface) Dr. Susan A. Gaylord, Program on Integrative Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

“This is a well-organized, concise, and compelling work that addresses a relatively understudied area of interest in the geography of health care – changes in access to alternative medicine in the United States. Given the current interest in unorthodox healing systems, this work is especially timely in its arrival, and should make a very meaningful contribution ...” – Professor Justin M. Nolan, University of Arkansas

Table of Contents

Preface by Susan A. Gaylord
1. What is Naturopathic Medicine and Who are NDs?
2. Diffusion of Naturopathic Licensing
3. Distribution, Concentration, and Health Care Implications of Naturopathic Physicians in the United States
4. Using Telephone, Association, and License Directories to Examine the Distribution of NDs
5. Downward Hierarchical Diffusion of Naturopathic Physicians in Oregon from 2000 to 2004
6. Factoring NDs into the HPSA Equation: A Policy Consideration
7. Estimating the De-designation of Single-County HPSAs
8. Geography of Naturopathy in the United States: Current Status and Future Prospects
List of Tables
List of Figures