New Mexico: Stop Naturopathic Scope Expansion
In October, the New Mexico Legislative Health and Human Services Committee held an interim meeting to discuss a proposal to license the practice of naturopathy. Currently, New Mexico does not have licensing laws for naturopaths. However, in recent years naturopaths have been successful in expanding their scope of practice in states across the United States – currently 20 states have licensing laws in place for naturopaths. Should this specific legislative proposal or future efforts go unchallenged, New Mexico could be the next state to allow inadequately naturopaths perform medical procedures.
Following the interim meeting, ASPS submitted comments to the committee urging it to oppose legislative action that would authorize naturopaths to perform minor office and surgical procedures. While the Society recognizes that naturopaths offer patients a unique and alternative form of medicine, it firmly believes that naturopaths have insufficient medical and residency training needed to practice allopathic or osteopathic medicine. Any attempt to allow naturopaths to perform surgical procedures would undermine patient safety and could result in life-threatening complications for New Mexicans. ASPS strongly encouraged members of the committee to consider patient safety and quality outcomes above all else when deliberating licensing proposals.
ASPS has been highly engaged on this issue and has commented on similar attempts by legislatures in Michigan and New Hampshire to expand naturopathic scope. The Society will continue to monitor and engage necessary stakeholders to combat scope expansion efforts by naturopaths in New Mexico and other states across the nation.