The Maryland University of Integrative Health is establishing a school of naturopathic medicine and plans to admit the first students to the program next year.
The school of naturopathic medicine will be the first in the mid-Atlantic region and one of only a handful of schools nationwide that operate within a regionally accredited university, officials with the university of integrative health said.
Naturopathic medicine is an alternative practice based on the idea that the body can heal itself. Naturopathic doctors use a combination of traditional treatments with alternative therapies such as acupuncture and herbal medicines.
"In establishing our School of Naturopathic Medicine, MUIH is taking a bold step to address some of the most challenging issues in healthcare," Steven Combs, the university's president and CEO, said in a statement. "We expect the graduates of this program to help fill the gap caused by the shortage of primary care physicians and to provide patients with cost-effective, compassionate care based on preventative and natural methods. Patients are demanding this approach and our nation needs these graduates."
The number of naturopathic practitioners has tripled in the last ten years as more states offer licenses. Nineteen states, including Maryland, and Washington D.C. license naturopathic care providers and several more are in the legislative process toward licensing.