Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

photo_bridge-pathWe have attempted to answer some of the more common questions we receive.

Of course, this overview cannot replace a conversation, which we are happy to have with you during a consultation or by contacting our office.

1. What is Naturopathic medical philosophy?
2. What type of training does a Naturopathic Doctor receive?
3. Are Naturopaths licensed to practice medicine?
4. Is Naturopathic Medicine covered by my health insurance or discount health plan?
5. How to become a patient?
6. What type of conditions does Dr. Martin treat?
7. Is Naturopathy the same as “alternative medicine”?
8. Do Naturopaths ever use the techniques or medicines associated with conventional medicine?
9. Do Naturopaths ever work with MDs?
10. What is Homeopathy?


Q: What is Naturopathic Medicine?

A: Naturopathic Medicine is a model of health care in which treatment is focused on disease prevention and supporting the body’s natural abilities to heal. The least invasive and most holistic modalities are the first choice. The ultimate goal and focus of treatment is to successfully identify and treat the cause of the disease rather than suppressing the body’s symptoms, which are signs of a disharmony, and not the disease itself. The naturopathic approach often requires the physician to educate patients about their life style choices as well as their physiology. Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) are trained to diagnose and treat all chronic and acute health conditions. Naturopathic Doctors are trained in conventional diagnostic techniques such as physical exams, laboratory testing, differential diagnosis, x-ray and ultrasound imaging, and psychological assessment. In addition, NDs use specialized laboratory tests that assess physiological function, as well as other observational and physical techniques. NDs endeavor to identify disease states in the context of the individual’s overall health.

Back to Questions

Q: What is Naturopathic medical philosophy?

A: The fundamental perspective of disease and health is what differentiates a Naturopathic Doctor. Our choice of methods of treatment is made by considering how treatment affects the health of the whole being not just the symptom or diagnosis.

Back to Questions

Q: What type of training does a Naturopathic Doctor receive?

A: Licensed Naturopathic Doctors have graduated from a four-year graduate residential accredited program consisting of 4,590 hours of academic training and an additional 1,536 hours of clinic patient care. In the state of Maryland, where Dr. Martin is currently licensed, the law requires that each Naturopathic doctor graduate from an accredited Naturopathic Medical School and successfully pass the NPLEX exam, the national postdoctoral board examination to obtain licensure.

The curriculum of the first 2 years totaling 1,968 hours emphasizes the basic sciences with additional training specific to our holistic philosophy: Anatomy, Botanical Medicine, Classical Chinese Medicine, Clinical Education, Histology, Holistic Model and Mind/Body/Spirit Medicine, Hydrotherapy, Introduction to Clinic, Lab Diagnosis, Microbiology, Medical Ethics, Naturopathic Medical History /Philosophy and Therapeutics, Orthopedics, Palpation, Pathology, Pharmacology, Physiology, and Research & Statistics.The curriculum of the last two years totaling 2,622 hours emphasize the clinical training: Clinical & Physical Diagnosis, Dermatology, Cardiology, Ears, Eyes, Nose, Throat (EENT), Endocrinology, Environmental Education, First Aid & Emergency Medicine, Gastroenterology, Genetics, Geriatrics, Gynecology, Homeopathy, Lab Diagnosis, Mind Body Medicine, Minor Surgery, Neurology, Nutrition, Obstetrics & Natural Childbirth, Oncology, Pediatrics, Pharmacology, Physiotherapy, Proctology, Radiology and Urology.

Back to Questions

Q: Are Naturopaths licensed to practice medicine?

A: Naturopathic Doctors are currently licensed in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and the United States Territories of Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands. Naturopathic Physicians are registered in Minnesota. In Canada ND’s are licensed in British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, and Saskatchewan.Several additional states have naturopathic licensing bills before their legislature including Illinois, Missouri, New York, North Carolina & Pennsylvania.

Back to Questions

Q: Is naturopathic medicine covered by my health insurance or discount health plan?

A: At this time Maryland law does not permit Naturopathic doctors to participate as preferred in-network providers for insurance plans or submit workman’s compensation claims. Visits with Dr Martin are eligible for insurance reimbursement as pertains to your particular insurance benefits for “out-of-network” coverage. If you have “out of network” benefits with your health insurance plan we are happy to provide you with a receipt of services (Super Bill) that you may then submit to your insurance company for reimbursement.  The amount of reimbursement, if any, is solely dependent upon your insurance benefit limitations. Patients also frequently also use their health Savings Plan or Flex Spending Accounts.

Back to Questions

Q: How to become a patient?

A:  Each prospective new patient begins by scheduling an introductory visit ($195) to determine whether Dr Martin’s holistic and thorough approach is the right one for you at this time.  In this introductory but non-medical appointment you will discuss a brief history of your health concerns, goals, & needs as well as ask any questions you may have including diagnostic and treatment approaches for your specific concerns, etc.  At your initial meeting Dr Martin will carefully listen to your needs to determine if she can help you. Assuming she can, she will then present you with a realistic time and commitment required to successfully reach your goals.  This individualized approach to your health care will be presented as a plan which takes into consideration the length of time you have been suffering, the severity of your concerns, the number of concerns and systems involved and the various changes you may have already made for improvement as well as steps you have not been willing to take thus far.  The number of visits and length of overall time in a given plan varies greatly from person to person.  Most commonly new patients are offered an initial plan that may range between 2 to 12 appointments and financial commitment varies accordingly.  Initial visits are necessarily longer in length than later visits after which the treatment plan has been introduced and we are focusing our efforts on supporting your necessary changes.

 Conventional labs are usually covered through your insurance benefits.

Back to Questions

Q: What type of conditions does Dr. Martin treat?

A: As a Naturopathic physician Dr. Martin’s primary focus of treatment is not on conditions alone but on the patient as a whole. However, a patient’s overall condition and symptoms are used to guide treatment. Dr. Martin has received advanced levels of training in diagnosing and managing chronic diseases involving the immune and endocrine systems. Examples of conditions that fall under these categories include diabetes, Hashimoto disease, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), adrenal insufficiency, hypoglycemia, depression, musculoskeletal complaints, migraines, fibroids, and many others.

Back to Questions

Q: Is naturopathy the same as “alternative medicine”?

A: Alternative medicine is a broad general term for all complementary healthcare. Alternative in this context signifies anything other than the western conventional (allopathic) approach. Naturopathy is not synonymous but is a type of alternative healthcare along with Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Osteopathy, Massage, Craniosacral, etc.

Back to Questions

Q: Do naturopaths ever use the techniques or medicines associated with conventional medicine?

A: Naturopaths are trained in conventional laboratory and physical assessment and diagnosis techniques. In the state of Maryland a naturopath can diagnose and recommend natural supplements, herbs, vitamins, and homeopathics. A Licensed ND in Maryland cannot prescribe any pharmaceutical drug. In licensed states, similar to that of a medical doctor, the naturopathic physician’s scope of practice includes a formulary of pharmaceutically prepared substances. including antibiotics, vaccines and many other naturally derived substances designed to treat specific conditions.In addition to this formulary, naturopathic physicians have many other tools and modalities to effectively and gently aid the body in regaining its natural function of health.

Back to Questions

Q: Do Naturopaths ever work with MDs?

A: Patients are encouraged to maintain and/or establish a relationship with a primary care MD of their choice. It is common for our patients to already have established care with MDs. Dr Martin prefers to have an open communication with your other providers to best serve your individual health needs.

Back to Questions

Q: What is homeopathy?

A: Please see our Homeopathy page for a description

Back to Questions