Can I really make it financially as an ND?
While income may not be the most important factor in your decision to choose a career in naturopathic medicine, it is no doubt a concern. Of our naturopathic physician survey respondents, 71% reported satisfaction with their incomes.
Those NDs who did report income dissatisfaction were largely newer practitioners. As with most professionally challenging careers, the maturation of a naturopathic medical practice typically leads to higher income. We found that as NDs build their practices over multiple years, their income satisfaction rates increase significantly (Figure 1).1
Furthermore, the public demand for natural health care has been steadily growing. In 1990, Americans made 425 million visits to providers of unconventional therapies. By 1997, that number had skyrocketed 47% to 625 million visits.2 Now that many major insurance companies cover at least one type of alternative health care, more than 80 million Americans currently turn to the $30 billion industry that is complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).3 This growing trend shows no sign of abating, and only heralds an even better income outlook for NDs in the future.
This increasing demand is met with a short supply of well-educated, licensable NDs. With the possible exception of the cities in which the seven ND schools are located, the number of licensable NDs practicing in many North American cities and rural areas remains few to none. So there are clearly markets waiting to be tapped and served by well-trained naturopathic physicians.
What Kind of Doctor Do You Want To Be (continued)
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