Clinical Training – Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine

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Student in the clinic seeing patientStudents gain practical clinical skills by working under the supervision of licensed naturopathic physicians, both in NCNM’s primary teaching clinic and at other health care facilities. Students begin learning through observation and gradually gain more responsibility for patient care. All patient care is under the direct supervision of licensed physicians.

Requirements for the completion of the clinical practicum include 1,224 clock hours of direct patient contact with a minimum of 500 patient contacts; demonstrated competence in specific clinical skills; under the guidance and assessment of the clinic faculty in clinical skills, knowledge, judgment, professional and ethical behavior, and communication skills. Clinical experience begins during the summer after the first year.

The first year of clinical experience is chiefly technical—with students performing various hydrotherapy treatments on clinic patients. Students enter the clinic as secondary interns after their second year is completed, and as primary interns after their third year. As interns, students become part of the treatment teams that deliver naturopathic care in the college clinics. Each student has a required summer clinic shift as a primary intern. Summer shifts in the clinic, prior to the mandatory summer as a primary intern, are done at the request of the student and not required.

In addition to the minimum 1,224 hours of direct patient care, third- and fourth-year students attend Naturopathic Grand Rounds, in which clinical cases of interest to students and clinicians are presented. Clinical education includes community education activities, medicinary, X-ray and laboratory practicums in addition to direct patient care hours.