By Britt Marie Hermes
Just a few years ago, I was a practicing naturopathic doctor. I considered myself to be a primary care physician who had been trained in the best of two worlds: supposedly, one was modern medicine and the other was a mixture of alternative practices based in “ancient wisdom.”
I went to naturopathic school at Bastyr University where my proclivity to think that natural medicine could greatly improve upon conventional medicine developed into a fully fledged naturalistic way of life. It is not unfair to say that my fellow classmates and I were brainwashed. We believed that we were being trained just like medical doctors but with the added bonus of learning the secret knowledge of harnessing the healing power of nature, which could somehow supersede science. I am already having flashbacks to my homeopathy classes.
By many societal measures, I was a doctor. I held a DEA number, so when I called in prescriptions to pharmacies I seemed just like other authorized practitioners. In some cases, I could bill my services to insurance companies and state health care programs. To many, the “ND” after my name appeared as a legitimate medical degree. My patients, family, and friends called me “Doctor Britt.”
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