The Battle in NC is Brewing Again!

What battle? The battle over the term “ND.” You would not think that a simple degree designation would be so volatile! The problem is that one school, Bastyr University, and one organization that they created, the CNME, has decided that no one can be an “ND” unless they graduated from one of their group’s schools. Imagine the “hew and cry” if NC State suddenly said, “No one can use the designation of ‘BA’ unless they graduated from NCSU!” I suspect the Chapel Hill alumni would not be happy! Well, that is precisely what is happening around the country as CNME representatives have coerced the state assemblies in each state to adopt very harse laws regarding the use of the term “ND.” Why? Control. And, exclusivity. If you can only function as an ND if you have a degree from a CNME approved school, then that gives them a built-in pool of students to train and get paid tuition from… as always, follow the money!

Now, some might say, “Well, why not just attend a CNME school?” Because the people in charge of those insitutions are philosophically opposed to traditional naturopathy! A “Naturopath” is historically simply a teacher of wellness, that by traditional definition DOES NOT use surgery, drugs, or other harsh, or invasive methodology in their consulting. In fact, the acknowledged founder of American Naturopathy, Dr. Benedict Lust, told Naturopaths, “Remember: Naturopaths are Doctors – minus Materia Medica and Surgery”. The “materia medica” Dr. Lust was referring to was prescription drugs. The CNME, and those of their ilk, have attempted to re-define Naturopathy to be a “poor man’s medicine” INCLUDING the use of surgery and prescribing drugs! If one wants to be an Allopathic Doctor (MD), then they should go to medical school and get an MD! It is folly to re-define the traditional, classic Naturopathic practices to include that which was never a part of the practice to begin with! They have begun calling themselves “NMDs” or “Naturopathic Medical Doctors,” and they wear white lab coats to help foster the notion that they are “medical men and women.” And they are attempting to re-define a traditional practice of teaching wellness, and are, at the same time, “cutting out the competition,” if you will, in one fell swoop!

The new proposed Bill that is going to the NC General Assembly states in cause (90.3.1):

“(1) approved program of naturopathic medicine — a graduate-level full-time didactic and supervised clinical training that is accredited, or has achieved candidacy status for accreditation, by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education naturopathic medical education program…”

Notice the organization… the CNME. This is the Bastyr group. They ONLY approve schools that define Naturopathy as allowing the use of surgery and drugs… which by definition is NOT naturopathy, it is allopathic medicine. This is a fundamental philosophical difference between the Bastyr folks and all traditional naturopaths.

Trinity College of Natural Health (my alma mater) could not, and would not, ever be approved by CNME. See this article on my “Classical Naturopathy” website:

in paragraph eight, specifically. Also notice in the proposed NC Bill in cause 90-810, (a) and (b):

“Use of Titles, and Prohibition Against Practice by Unlicensed Persons:
(a) Licensees shall use the title “naturopathic physician” and the recognized abbreviation “N.D.”. Persons licensed under this Article have the exclusive right to use the titles: ‘naturopathic physician’, ‘naturopathic doctor’, ‘doctor of naturopathic medicine’, ‘doctor of naturopathy’, ‘N.D.’, ‘ND’, and ‘NMD’
(b) No person shall represent himself or herself to the public as a naturopathic physician, a doctor of naturopathic medicine, a doctor of naturopathy, or as being otherwise authorized to practice naturopathic medicine in North Carolina without having the license required under this article.”

If I can not “represent” myself as a “doctor of naturopathy,” or “ND,” then ipso facto my legally acquired degree is nullified by a law. Would they legally remove the degree of “BA” or “PhD” because they didn’t like the school that granted the degree? Would anyone with a modicum of sense see this as reasonable?

At the VERY least, would there be no “grandfathering” clause, or recognition of a form of naturopath that DOES NOT want to dispense drugs or perform minor surgeries, or in other ways pretend to be a medical doctor? What of those of us that simply want to teach good health practices?

The Traditional Naturopathic “world” is getting weary of the “battle” with the CNME and their goal to usurp the term “ND,” and has established the term “CTN” (Certified Traditional Naturopath,”) that is a Board Certified Traditional Naturopath. The organization doing this is the American Naturopathic Certification Board. (Web site at:

CTN’s will continue to teach wellness even if they can not use their degrees. But, it is a sad state of affairs. The battle is already lost in states like SC and FL.


  • How can I keep up with the status of this bill?

  • The organization that “is on our side” in this is the Citizens for Healthcare Freedom in NC. Their web site is here:

    and you can contact their Executive Director, Mike Causey, at:

  • I cannot find anything on the current ND licensure bill on the above site or the NC General Assembly site. I haven’t been keeping up with it and just saw an article in the Charlotte Observer last week. I thought it indicated that a bill was to be voted on soon. Perhaps I misunderstood. 

  • Are you aware of a current bill going to vote?

  • Every year for the last five this bill has come up… and has been defeated… the current one is being developed. The CHF lobbyist (Mike Causey) has told us what it contains. Here is a link to last year’s (2005-2006) bill:

    The new bill is PROPOSED at this point… a DRAFT of it is available here:

  • I am interested in taking the ND courses at Trinity College of Natural Health then, recently I heard of this new bill. Is this a good time to start taking courses or should I wait to see how things will turn out with this bill?

  • Well, this bill has been introduced, killed, and re-introduced every year since I have been involved in trying to fight it… which is since 2000. So, as the “bad guys” are determined, so WE have to be determined. I would not wait… go for it! Even if they were to manage to make traditional naturopathy illegal, they can not steal the truth from our minds as individuals. But… we should still fight hard for personal health freedoms here in North Carolina!

  • Thanks Dr. Bill!

  • Dr. Bill…what local (RDU) organizations or groups would you recommend I get involved with? I’d like to connect with some people whose mission and vision is similar to Trinity. Also, a group who is making things happen and impacting the area.

  • Do you know when the next vote is scheduled?

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