Currently, 18 American states, 5 Canadian provinces, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have laws regulating the practice of naturopathic medicine (click here to see a map).  While the scope of practice for naturopathic doctors in these localities does vary, most licensure laws include the authority to diagnose and treat disease, as well as the ability to prescribe certain classes of pharmaceutical medications.  When visiting a naturopathic doctor in one of these areas, patients can be confident they are seeing a qualified medical professional who has graduated from a CNME accredited naturopathic medical school and has passed the NPLEX.  Unfortunately, in localities that are unlicensed or unregulated, healthcare consumers have no such assurances when visiting a naturopathic doctor (i.e. – anyone with any level of training and education can claim to be a naturopathic doctor).  As such, it behooves healthcare consumers to inquire about the training and education of any naturopathic doctor they visit in an unlicensed or unregulated area.