Naturopathic Medicine Program Curriculum

Program Outcomes

A naturopathic medicine graduate of Bastyr University’s School of Naturopathic Medicine will:

  • Demonstrate an appropriate level of knowledge in both basic biomedical and clinical sciences.
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply clinical skills in the care of patients to the standards of a primary care naturopathic physician as defined by the profession.
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply the philosophy and principles of naturopathic medicine in the care of patients.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to the highest levels of ethics and professionalism by behaving with honesty and integrity in all interactions with patients, their families, other health care professionals, and others they interact with in the course of their professional career.
  • Demonstrate an ability to apply evidence-informed practice efficiently and effectively in patient-care settings.

Integrated Curriculum Design

The naturopathic medicine program at Bastyr University is taught in a systems-based approach designed to provide integration across scientific disciplines and between biomedical and clinical sciences. This approach fosters the development of critical clinical reasoning through an active learning environment. Naturopathic medical students are expected to be able to preview learning materials and gain a basic understanding before coming to class to apply the information (the “flipped classroom”). The integrated curriculum also takes advantage of hybrid learning in which online educational technology is paired with face-to-face learning, to provide the student with flexible learning time and varied methods of instruction to support different types of learners.

Students entering this program should be comfortable with computer technologies and programs. It is strongly advised that students have a personal computing device with Internet access and the common word processing and associated programs in order to fully participate in hybrid learning.

Basic Sciences

Basic and biomedical science modules within the naturopathic medicine program provide integration across science disciplines and with clinical coursework. First-year basic science modules provide a foundation of core principles in anatomy, histology, embryology, biochemistry and physiology that are integrated in the context of body systems. Second-year modules use the systems approach to integrate the principles of pathology, immunology and infectious diseases. Throughout the curriculum, science concepts are applied to clinical situations through integrated case discussions.

The basic science faculty encourages and expects students to advance beyond the simple learning of scientific facts and to integrate systematically the information from basic science disciplines into a unified model of human organization and function. This educational scheme requires students to assume an active role in the learning process and encourages them to adopt this inquisitive behavior for a lifetime. Problem solving, clinical cases and examples are an integral part of the basic science curriculum. This educational process is an expression of Bastyr University’s basic philosophy of a holistic approach to human behavior, health and therapeutics. The basic science faculty encourages students to become totally absorbed in an integrated approach to learning and understanding. Instructors are readily available to facilitate this process on an individual basis.

The department also offers science courses that satisfy prerequisite requirements, including courses in General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry.

Behavioral Medicine

By definition, naturopathic medicine is a comprehensive, whole-person, integrative form of medicine which recognizes the behavioral, socio/cultural/political, cognitive, and emotional factors in health. The emerging field of behavioral medicine views health and illness through an interdisciplinary lens that integrates biomedical, psychosocial and behavioral sciences. The behavioral medicine curriculum within the naturopathic medicine program provides training in the development of the patient-physician therapeutic alliance, understanding of the biological basis of lifestyle change and behavior, the psychosocial factors of chronic disease, the socio-cultural determinants of health, and psychophysiology and mind-body medicine, all within the context of a primary care naturopathic physician. Courses in Behavioral Medicine are offered in conjunction with the Department of Counseling and Health Psychology.

Botanical Medicine

Botanical medicine is a core modality for naturopathic physicians to use in optimizing the health and well-being of their patients. Medicinal plants have been used as food and medicine by all peoples on all continents. The importance of plants to humans has been recorded in cave paintings 60,000 years old. A contemporary renaissance in herbal medicine weds traditional use and wisdom with modern analytical methodologies for optimal medical applications for today. Empirical knowledge of plant therapeutics is based on Western and holistic thought, rather than reductionist paradigms, and is linked with contemporary scientific knowledge.

The core curriculum in botanical medicine for naturopathic medical students covers fundamental plant identification and nomenclature, pharmacognosy, therapeutic actions, extraction principles, dosage considerations, contraindications, toxicology, herb-drug interactions, clinical applications, and treatment regimens. Clinical therapeutics draw from traditional uses, naturopathic formulae and use, and from international scientific and clinical research, as well as advances in phytotherapy. Herbal medicine making is incorporated into the third-year systems modules, which focus on treatment. Completion of the required curriculum, along with the required clinical experience, prepares the student for effective and safe clinical utilization of preventive and therapeutic botanicals.

A variety of botanical medicine elective and special topic courses are offered to students in the naturopathic medicine program and other programs, along with independent study options.

The Bastyr University Gardens are managed by the botanical medicine department, with support from the University and donations. The gardens are maintained primarily by the garden supervisor, assistant supervisors and work-study students. The botanical medicine department continues to build an herbarium, although the vast University of Washington herbarium is used as one of Bastyr’s teaching venues. The department supports a botanical medicine lab to expand class experience and provide a space for students to continue exploring their work and passion for herbs.

Homeopathic Medicine

Homeopathic medicine is a gentle non-toxic therapy that is one of the naturopathic medicine modalities. Homeopathic medicines stimulate a person’s inherent healing mechanisms. The entire range of mental, emotional and physical symptoms is considered with each patient and the remedy is then chosen that addresses the complex pattern of the patient, while emphasizing the uniqueness of the individual.

The homeopathic curriculum at Bastyr University includes the basic principles and philosophy of homeopathy, materia medica of commonly used homeopathic medicines, use of the homeopathic repertory, taking a homeopathic case and homeopathic case analysis. Practical therapeutics for common medical conditions are incorporated into the systems modules in the third year, focused on treatment.

Physical Medicine

Physical medicine is an integral part of naturopathic medicine. It includes various modalities, such as hydrotherapy, osseous and soft-tissue manipulation, sports medicine and therapeutic exercise. The course of study and clinical training in physical medicine enable students to develop a solid foundation for entry into the practice of naturopathic medicine. The curriculum offers sufficient hours in manipulation to satisfy the state of Washington’s licensing requirement as a naturopathic physician.

The physical medicine curriculum begins by teaching students the art of touch and palpation, introduction to basic Swedish massage techniques and soft-tissue manipulation, and then progresses to osseous manipulation.

Summer Massage Intensive

Bastyr University and Bellevue Massage School Center for Healing Arts offer students a summer massage training program that allows them to apply coursework taken at Bastyr University toward the state requirements for massage licensure. This course cannot be audited.

Students interested in further information may meet with their academic advisor in the registrar’s office or with their department’s program supervisor to discuss program availability and the course prerequisites.

Electives Requirements

Students in the naturopathic medicine program are required to complete 8 elective credits (included in the 300.5 credit totals) during their course of study. Up to 3 of these credits may be satisfied by independent study. It is recommended that elective credits be spread out over the length of the student’s program. Courses designated as elective and special topics may fulfill this 8-credit requirement, as well as additional clinic shifts during the student’s clinical training. A maximum of 3 elective credits from any one discipline may be used to satisfy the naturopathic medicine program elective requirement. The rule of a 3-credit maximum does not apply to elective credits being taken to satisfy waived credits. Elective credits covering waived course credits may be from any discipline. A student may take elective credits from any program/department.

Clinical Sciences

Clinical sciences provide training in the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to become a competent naturopathic physician. Systems-based modules use case-based teaching to help students use critical clinical thinking to understand human disease, promote health, and prevent and treat illness. Evidence-informed practice and the naturopathic principles, therapeutic order and fundamentals of health are all part of the identification and management of disease and the obstacles to cure. This includes the traditional “ologies” (pulmonology, gastroenterology, neurology, etc.) as well as diet and nutrient therapy, botanical medicine formulation, clinical pharmacology, diagnostic testing and imaging, and problem-focused physical exam skills.

Clinical Entrance Prerequisites

Naturopathic medicine students must complete and achieve competency in all required classes prior to entering clinical training. Questions about didactic prerequisites for clinical ND training should be addressed to the registrar’s office on campus. Students must also have completed TB screening, received a hepatitis B vaccination or signed a waiver, have a current CPR card, and submit to a national criminal background check. The criminal background check will be conducted prior to enrolling in clinical shifts. For more information, see “Felony Conviction Disclosure and Background Checks” in the Academic Policy and Procedure Manual.

Clinic Requirements

Students in the four-year program begin clinical training in their first year. Clinical training begins with observation, in which the student follows supervisors through their rotations. The next year clinical training builds to active observation, with clinical skills demonstrated by the student and evaluated by the supervisor. The training supports students to gradually and continually develop and expand their clinical skills and competence throughout their roles as early, intermediate and experienced student clinicians. Students are required to successfully complete a minimum of 1,210 hours of clinical training.

Graduation Requirements

The curriculum of the naturopathic medicine program requires completion of 300.5 credits for graduation. This includes 240.5 core course credits, 8 elective credits and 52 clinical credits. Students must achieve competency (grade of AC) in all 300.5 credits required in the curriculum. Students must complete all required clinical competencies in order to graduate. Students must complete at least two-thirds of their credits in residence at Bastyr University.

Naturopathic Medicine Extended Program Tracks

Students who are accepted into the program and decide not to complete the program in four years must choose one of the following approved options:

  • Extended Track-Option - Preclinical Option
  • Extended Track - Clinical Option

At the time of enrollment, naturopathic medicine students are registered for the four-year track. Students in their preclinical training who wish to change to an extended track must complete the ND change of status form (available in the registrar’s office) and then meet with their registrar advisor, room 249. Changes may affect financial aid packages as well as the sequencing of courses. This five-year track extends the first two years of preclinical training into three years. As long as a student remains on an approved program track, there should be no course scheduling conflicts. Students must remain on track in order to graduate on time. Students may not register off track or ahead of track without approval from the associate academic dean.

The curriculum tables that follow list the tentative schedule of courses each quarter.

Year I

Fall

BC5142Fundamentals of Research Design

2

BC5150Integrated Structure and Function Lecture/Lab

8.5

BC5151Integrated Musculoskeletal Lecture/Lab

6.5

BC5122LGross Human Anatomy 1 Lab

1

BP5400Therapeutic Alliance 1

1

NM5140Constitutional Assessment

2

NM5141Naturopathic Theory and Practice 1

2

SN5100Clinical Skills Lab 1

1

SN5103Integrated Case Studies 1

1

NM5820Clinic Observation 1

1

Total Credit Hours:26.0

BC5142 is offered summer, winter in Kenmore, Washington; fall and winter in San Diego, California

NM5140 is offered summer both in Kenmore and San Diego

NM5820 is offered also in winter or spring

Winter

BC5123LGross Human Anatomy 2 Lab

1

BC5146Physiology Lab 1

1.5

BC5152Integrated Cardiovascular and Immune Systems

5.5

BC5153Integrated Respiratory System

4.5

BC5154Integrated Digestive System

4.5

BP5401Therapeutic Alliance 2

1

NM5142Naturopathic Theory and Practice 2

2

PM5314Physical Medicine 1

1

PM5314LPhysical Medicine Lab 1

1

SN5101Clinical Skills Lab 2

1

SN5104Integrated Case Studies 2

1

Total Credit Hours:24

Spring

BC5124LGross Human Anatomy 3 Lab

1

BC5147Physiology Lab 2

1

BC5155Integrated Endocrine System and Metabolism

4.5

BC5156Integrated Renal and Reproductive Systems

4

BC5157Integrated Nervous System

7

BP5402Fundamentals of Behavioral Medicine

2.5

NM5143Naturopathic Theory and Practice 3

2

PM5316Physical Medicine 2

1

PM5316LPhysical Medicine Lab 2

0.5

SN5102Clinical Skills Lab 3

1

SN5105Integrated Case Studies 3

1

Total Credit Hours:25.5

Year II

Fall

BC6107Integrated Pathology, Immunology and Infectious Diseases 1

8

BO6305Botanical Medicine Lab

1

BP6300Behavioral Medicine Theories & Interventions 1

2.5

HO6305Homeopathy 1

1.5

NM6110Naturopathic Theory and Practice 4

0.5

NM6310Naturopathic Clinical Diagnosis 1

4

NM6315Physical Exam Diagnosis Lab 1

1

NM6320Clinical Diagnosis Lab 1

1

PM6305Physical Medicine 3

2

SN6100Integrated Case Studies 4

0.5

SN6300Integrated Therapeutics 1

3

NM6810Clinic Observation 2*

2

Total Credit Hours:27.0

NM6810 is also offered in summer.

Winter

BC6108Integrated Pathology, Immunology and Infectious Diseases 2

7

BP6200Psychopathology

2

HO6306Homeopathy 2

2

NM6111Naturopathic Theory and Practice 5

0.5

NM6311Naturopathic Clinical Diagnosis 2

4

NM6316Physical Exam Diagnosis Lab 2

1

NM6321Clinical Diagnosis Lab 2

1

PM6306Physical Medicine 4

3

SN6101Integrated Case Studies 5

0.5

SN6303Integrated Therapeutics 2

3

TR6312Nutrition Principles 1: Assessment, Education and Macronutrients

3

Total Credit Hours:27.0

Spring

BC6109Integrated Pathology, Immunology and Infectious Diseases 3

6

BP6301Behavioral Medicine Theories & Interventions 2

2

HO6307Homeopathy 3

2

NM6112Naturopathic Theory and Practice 6

0.5

NM6312Naturopathic Clinical Diagnosis 3

4

NM6317Physical Exam Diagnosis Lab 3

1

NM6322Clinical Diagnosis Lab 3

1

NM6325Fundamentals of Radiology and Diagnostic Imaging

2

NM6820Clinic Entrance Assessment

PM6310Physical Medicine 5

2

SN6102Integrated Case Studies 6

0.5

SN6304Integrated Therapeutics 3

3

TR6313Nutrition Principles 2: Micronutrients

2.5

Total Credit Hours:26.5

Year III

Summer

BO7305Botanical Medicine Formulation Lab 1

1

NM7111Coding and Billing

1

NM7326Medical Procedures 1 Lecture/Lab

2

NM7332Clinical Pharmacology 1

0.5

NM7342Musculoskeletal System and Orthopedics

4

PM7309Physical Medicine 6

2

Clinic Rotation (1)

2

Total Credit Hours:12.5

Fall

BO7306Botanical Medicine Formulation Lab 2

1

BP7300Naturopathic Approaches to Addictions

2

HO7300Homeopathy 4

1.5

NM7317Endocrine System

4.5

NM7318Nervous System and Mental Health

5

NM7333Clinical Pharmacology 2

0.5

NM7346Maternity and Pediatrics

4.5

PM7311Physical Medicine 7

2

SN7300Advanced Case Studies 1

0.5

NM8801Preceptorship 1

1

Clinic Rotation (1)

2

Total Credit Hours:24.5

Winter

BO7307Botanical Medicine Formulation Lab 3

1

HO7301Homeopathy 5

1

NM7142Critical Evaluation of the Medical Literature

2

NM7323Cardiovascular System

5

NM7324Respiratory System

3

NM7330Healing Systems

1

NM7334Clinical Pharmacology 3

0.5

NM7337Digestive System

4

NM7338Environmental Medicine

1.5

SN7301Advanced Case Studies 2

0.5

Clinic Rotation (1 or 2)

2-4

Total Credit Hours:21.5-23.5

NM7142 is also offered spring quarter.

Spring

BO7308Botanical Medicine Formulation Lab 4

1

NM7113Jurisprudence

1

NM7331Renal System

2.5

NM7335Clinical Pharmacology 4

0.5

NM7343Male Reproductive and Urology

2

NM7344Female Reproductive and Urology

4

NM7345Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat

3

SN7302Advanced Case Studies 3

0.5

Clinic Rotation (1 or 2)

2-4

Total Credit Hours:16.5-18.5

Year IV

Summer

BO8301Botanical Medicine Formulation Lab 5

1

NM8301Clinical Pharmacology 5

0.5

NM8305Integumentary System

3

NM8310Medical Procedures 2 Lecture/Lab

2

SN8300Advanced Case Studies 4

0.5

Clinic Rotation (4)

8

Total Credit Hours:15.0

Fall

NM8100Advanced Medical Ethics

0.5

NM8105Advanced Business Practices 1

2

NM8316Advanced Topics in Public Health

1

NM8317Advanced Topics in Geriatric Medicine

2

NM8815Grand Rounds 1

1

NM8802Preceptorship 2

1

Clinic Rotation (4)

8

Total Credit Hours:15.5

Winter

NM8106Advanced Business Practices 2

0.5

NM8311Rheumatologic Disorders

2

NM8318Advanced Topics in Clinical Ecology

1

NM8319Advanced Topics in Oncology

2.5

NM8816Grand Rounds 2

1

Clinic Rotation (4)

8

Total Credit Hours:15.0

Spring

NM8817Grand Rounds 3

1

NM8803Preceptorship 3

1

Clinic Rotation (4)

8

Total Credit Hours:10

Summary of Clinic Requirements

NM5820Clinic Observation 1

1

NM6810Clinic Observation 2*

2

NM7820-7829Patient Care Rotations 1-10

20

NM8801-8803Preceptorship 1-3

3

NM8830-8837Patient Care Rotations 11-18

16

NM8844Interim Patient Care

2

PM7801-7802Physical Medicine 1-2

4

PM8801-8802Physical Medicine 3-4

4

Total Credit Hours:52

NM7820-29, NM8830-37, PM7801-2, PM8801-2: Quarterly shift assignments are based on availability. 

Elective Requirements

Elective & Special Topics

8

Total Credit Hours:8

Curriculum and course changes in the 2017-2018 Bastyr University Catalog are applicable to students entering during the 2017-2018 academic year. Please refer to the appropriate catalog if interested in curriculum and courses required for any other entering year.

Total Requirements

  Credits  Clock hours
Total Core Course Credits   240.5    3019.5
Total Elective Credits      8       88
Total Clinic Credits     52    1210
Total Requirements   300.5    4317.50