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Let’s Celebrate the official Naturopathic Medicine Week! (Read the whole post for your personal invitation!)
Last month the U.S. Senate declared October 7-11th, 2013 to be Naturopathic Medicine Week, in honor of the naturopathic physicians who are on the forefront of wellness and preventive medicine.
For unfamiliar readers, naturopathic physicians are licensed primary care providers in the state of Montana. All naturopathic physicians are graduates from 4-year medical colleges and must complete 4,100 hours of clinical education with supervised patient care and pass two sets of naturopathic medical board exams.
Lately there has been discussion in the media saying preventive services are too expensive and significantly add to the enormous cost of healthcare in this country. This is an incorrect assertion – the concept of prevention has become confused with that of screening. A mammogram, annual blood work, or physical exam is not prevention – it is screening. Screening is not cost-saving, even though it is certainly life-saving, as it allows for early detection of many diseases. Preventive medicine, by definition, is cost-saving, since it prevents diseases that need to be treated at all. Though preventive services may cost a few hundred dollars for extra visits to a primary care physician, this is a tiny drop in the bucket compared with the cost of treating, say, cancer, or cardiovascular disease.
Naturopathic physicians use nutrition, exercise, counseling, stress management techniques and many other natural treatments to emphasize the body’s inherent ability to heal itself. Naturopathic physicians (or “ND’s”) also focus on treating the underlying cause of disease rather than treating symptoms.
These elements of treatment are essential to primary prevention and thus to decreasing the financial burden of healthcare – especially as we consider that fully 75% of health care costs in the US today stem from preventable chronic disease.
To celebrate Naturopathic Medicine Week our office is having an Open House this Friday October 11th, 2013, from 2:00 – 6:00 p.m! Please come honor the naturopathic physicians that work so hard to prevent disease and promote health. We are located at 714 Kensington Ave in Missoula, near the Nursing Nook and Montana School of Massage. For more information e-mail [email protected] or call (406) 552-1717.