Calling All NDs: Summit on the Future of Naturopathic Medicine

 In Naturopathic News

Node Smith, ND

The entire profession of naturopathic doctors is being called upon for their opinions and insights on the future of naturopathic medicine.

It is generally felt that naturopathic medicine is in an epoch of change. Throughout the profession, many conversations have been emerging on the future of the profession within student groups, educators, professional and specialty organizations, and practicing NDs.

Naturopathic Medicine Collaborative Summit on the Future of Naturopathic Medicine

These conversations are being organized through the Naturopathic Medicine Collaborative in a year-long facilitated process kicking off in July 2018.

Goals of the process

The goals of the process are to hear input from all individuals and organizations that care about the profession’s future to ultimately unify around an action agenda that will best serve the health of patients, the public, and the planet.  With a cohesive, shared vision for the future, we can better reach healthcare consumers and present a united front as a thriving, trusted profession in the health care sector.

Naturopathic Medicine Collaborative project

This summit is a project of the Naturopathic Medicine Collaborative, a group of 76 stakeholder organizations in the Naturopathic Medicine Community. The intention of the summit is to be a neutral venue for the collection and synthesis of ideas in an inclusive manner that will ultimately help build solidarity and strengthen a culture of collaboration among all our organizations that will move us toward that future.

“Vision team”

Lead organizers are a “vision team” that includes Billings, MT doctor Maggi Beeson, the AANP’s 2016 Naturopathic Physician of the Year, as well as INM president and executive director Michelle Simon, PhD, ND, Seattle-based naturopathic physician Jeana Kimball, ND, MPH, and AANP executive director and 2014 Champion of Naturopathic Medicine, Laura Farr.  Ten Directions, an integral coaching and consulting company based in Canada, will manage the July summit and the year-long engagement process. A twelve-member planning team is guiding the process.

Goals of the Summit

  1. Develop a common vision of what we collectively want to create as the Future of Naturopathic Medicine that embraces and celebrates our diversity and our commonalities.
  2. Develop a roadmap on how we can strengthen a culture of collaboration amongst all our organizations that will move us toward that future.

Details and ways to Participate

  • The summit will kick off during a pre-convention event at the AANP’s 2018 annual convention in San Diego from 4:00 pm 6:00 pm. This is not the only way to participate, and NDs are being urged to visit the summit’s website to contribute ideas.
  • The summit is a key element of the conversation and will serve as a kick-off of a year-long dialogue that will build and communicate a shared vision for the naturopathic profession.
  • Recordings of the summit will be made available, and participation in the ongoing conversation is encouraged in the forum on the summit’s website (  Future videos, webcasts and posted dialogue will all be hosted here.
  • After the summit, 3 online events that will be programmed throughout the year – a website for feedback and updates has already been created – and a culminating meeting is scheduled for the 2019 AANP convention.

Future of Naturopathic Medicine

Photo by Kaylah Otto on Unsplash

Node Smith, ND, is a naturopathic physician in Portland, OR and associate editor for NDNR. He has been instrumental in maintaining a firm connection to the philosophy and heritage of naturopathic medicine among the next generation of docs. He helped found the first multi-generational experiential retreat, which brings elders, alumni, and students together for a weekend camp-out where naturopathic medicine and medical philosophy are experienced in nature. Four years ago he helped found the non-profit, Association for Naturopathic ReVitalization (ANR), for which he serves as the board chairman. ANR has a mission to inspire health practitioners to embody the naturopathic principles through experiential education. Node also has a firm belief that the next era of naturopathic medicine will see a resurgence of in-patient facilities which use fasting, earthing, hydrotherapy and homeopathy to bring people back from chronic diseases of modern living; he is involved in numerous conversations and projects to bring about this vision.

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