Does everyone know the “Serenity Prayer”? It’s a favorite of 12-Step groups, and goes “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” If you’re the sort of person who prays, I think it’s rather simple and lovely. It helps one keep a sense of perspective, which is an important thing to have.
Anyhow, I know there are a great many things I cannot change. I will never look like Jake Gyllenhaal. Billy Bush gets paid scads of money to chat with famous people, and I don’t. They made a movie out of “Battleship.” For these and many other reasons, I am forced to accept that the world will never be perfect as I would envision it. Fine.
One of the things I know I have to accept is both the existence of naturopaths, and that they get to call themselves doctors. I can rant and rant all I want, but it would be as like spit into the Atlantic. Best I just learn to live with it. Fine.
But would you like to know what drives me completely batshit? That naturopaths are allowed to prescribe real medications in many states. Whenever I am confronted with that fact in my professional life, it makes my eye twitch in a worrisome way. To say I object to this practice would be to master the art of understatement.
Every time I have come across a “traditional” (read: real) medication as prescribed by a naturopath, it has always been prescribed incorrectly or inappropriately. Every. Single. Time. I have seen potent psychiatric medications prescribed with nary a thought to monitoring blood levels. I have seen antibiotics prescribed for illness against which they are ineffective, and for stretches of time that defy all explanation. (I will elide the specific conditions for which I have seen these medications prescribed, if you don’t mind. I’m bracing myself for comments enough already as it is.) The usages have been not so much off-label as off-planet. They have done nothing to assuage my concern that naturopaths are not properly trained in pharmacology.
Can someone explain to me why naturopaths are allowed to prescribe medications, or even why they are inclined to? I don’t pretend that clindamycin (to choose a random example) is “natural.” Why would they? I am at peace with their dispensing newt noses or tincture of moonbeam or whatever else it is they’re foisting on their credulous patients. I promise I will never give my patients a poultice of butterfly tears, and will leave such interventions to them. I would appreciate their extending a similar courtesy in my direction.