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STATE | ASPS Battles MI Naturopathic Scope Expansion

In Michigan, the state Senate passed a measure that would allow naturopaths to practice medicine and perform certain surgical procedures. While ASPS recognizes that naturopaths offer an alternative course of treatment that may be effective in certain cases, the Society opposes any efforts by state legislatures and/or regulatory bodies that allow naturopaths to practice allopathic or osteopathic medicine.

Following the upper house's approval, ASPS wrote to members of the House of Representatives' Health Policy Committee in opposition to the bill. The Michigan State Medical Society's legislative committee – of which ASPS member Mark Komorowski, MD, is a member – also prepared a statement in opposition to the bill and does not expect the measure to see any further movement during the 2018 legislative session.

Michigan is not alone, as legislation establishing or expanding naturopathic scope of practice has been introduced in at least 11 other states over the past two years. Currently, 18 states have licensing or regulation laws for naturopaths. In those states, naturopathic doctors are required to undergo education at an accredited naturopathic medical school and pass a board examination prior to receiving a license to practice.