The answer is both simple, and complex...

Naturopaths focus on the overall health of the patient. We seek to help our patients to understand how diet and lifestyle impact their health and wellbeing. We seek the cause of symptoms first in order to effect a cure – wellness. Symptoms are only a result of a disease process and treating them without treating the cause will not effect a cure. We seek cure, not the management of symptoms.

Doctors rarely see their patients until some symptom is sufficiently annoying to motivate the patient to pay a visit to them. As the symptom is so strongly motivating and finding the cause of the problem can be time consuming and the Doctor has limited time available; the symptom is what is treated, not the cause. Over time the medical profession have come to see and believe that the symptom is the disease when in fact symptoms are really the result or outward manifestation of the real disease. In short Doctors manage symptoms (disease) they do not cure.

Naturally there are certain things that each profession do better than the other. No-one would go to a Naturopath if they were involved in a serious accident, or had suffered a heart attack or stroke. For such life threatening events a Doctor's surgery or hospital are the best places to be. Also a complicated pregnancy and premature birth need good medical care. However, once the emergency is over and the recovery has begun, Naturopaths are far better at restoring true health. After any operation a qualified Naturopath is better at getting the patient back to full health, again because we focus on the whole person and that includes, diet and lifestyle and social interactions the patient has.

If we lived in a perfect world, one where egos were not allowed to get in the way, Doctors and Naturopaths would work together for the best good of the patient. This will happen at some point in the future. Remember, there was a time when a Doctor would not soil his hand with messy operations and referred them to a breed of Barber Surgeons who were looked down upon as being the lowest of the low. Now a Surgeon is considered a Specialist and up there with the gods. Even now we occasionally get a referral from a Doctor and often where there is no referral a patient has been told by their doctor to see a Naturopath. It will come, but like any change will be resisted by the mainstream until it becomes a self evident truth.