Holistic doctors are medically trained physicians who work in one or more modalities that focus on the health of the whole person, including physical, mental and spiritual aspects. They also generally accommodate acupuncture, massage, and herbal medicine into their practices.
Holistic doctors have the leverage of working for more regular hours than some of their medical counterparts. These doctors work in a medical office or clinic setting, although some may practice out of their homes or visit their patients’ homes. The field of holistic medicine is still small, though growing.
Steps To Become A Holistic Doctor
Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
The first step to becoming a holistic doctor involves earning a bachelor’s degree with essential coursework. A bachelor’s degree is the basic requirement for admission into a medical school. Some programs consider applications from outstanding students with some college coursework and the essential prerequisites through early admissions programs. Coursework typically includes English, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, and Mathematics. A student desiring to become a medical doctor (MD) or a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) needs to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).
Earn Medical, Chiropractic, or Naturopathic Degree
The second step is to obtain a medical, chiropractic, or naturopathic medicine degree. Various degree options exist for becoming a doctor, within which leeway varies for practicing as such doctor. NDs, DCs, and DOs are taught to approach illness and health from a holistic viewpoint, while MDs are typically not. These degree programs typically involve at least four years of training followed by a 2-6 years residency.
Complete Residency or Internship
The third step consists of completing a residency or internship. The residency or internship section of medical school training allows the student to work under supervision as a doctor in a field of his or her choice. Graduates pursuing careers as holistic doctors need to find residencies that match their choice. MDs and DOs have a wide variety of medical specialty areas from which they can choose. It includes emergency medicine, obstetrics, surgery, and general medicine. Naturopathic doctors may choose to work in neurology, minor surgery, or women’s health, etc.
The fourth step is to become licensed. After completing one or more residencies, MDs and DOs are eligible to become licensed after qualifying practical and written exams.
Learn About Holistic Healing Modalities
The fifth step consists of learning about holistic healing modalities. Holistic healing training programs offered at public and private schools allow doctors to extend their scope of knowledge. Medical doctors are allowed to practice most modalities. These doctors might integrate homeopathy, herbal medicine, acupuncture, biofeedback, and other holistic healing modalities into their practices.
Apply For Job Or Start Holistic Medical Practice
The sixth step to becoming a holistic doctor is to apply for a job or start a holistic medical practice. These doctors may work at integrative medical clinics, while others prefer to open up their own holistic healing medical practices.