Continuing Education – What is required and what is allowed?

Are you still confused about the requirements for naturopathic medical continuing education in Washington?  Well, you’re not alone!

Per Washington Administrative Code (WAC 246-836-080),  naturopathic physicians are required to complete 20 hours of continuing education (CE) each year and are to maintain proof of their completion in the event of an audit. This state rule further specifies that the CE course work should be related to diagnosis and therapeutics that pertain to our scope of practice. For more details, visit

I frequently field questions from members who are looking for additional sources of CE, and to clarify a couple of common misconceptions, I asked Sue Gragg, Program Director of the Naturopathy Program at the Washington Department of Health.  Sue clarified that currently serving as a faculty member or teaching a class does NOT count toward CE hours, nor does self study.  She also clarified that new graduates do not have to meet CE requirements until their second license renewal (which occurs on the doctor’s birthday each year.)

Are you still confused about the requirements for naturopathic medical continuing education in Washington? Well, you’re not alone!

I also asked Sue about the consequences for a doctor who is audited and hasn’t fulfilled CE requirements, and she replied: “If a naturopath can’t validate their CE during an audit, they could be granted an extension in order to fulfill the requirement (i.e. take new courses that provide proof). Since the State Board of Naturopathy is fairly new, they haven’t had an issue of “non-compliance” so I can’t share their philosophy, but some of the other boards have taken a dim view of attesting to something you can’t prove.”

The state rule also designates some criteria that could be of use to those with extenuating circumstances that interfere with their ability to earn CE:  In emergency situations, such as personal or family illness, the board may in its discretion, for good cause shown, waive all or part of the continuing education requirement for a particular one year period for an individual licensee. The board may require such verification of the emergency as is necessary to prove its existence.”

When it comes to choosing CE hours we understand you have many options. There are countless on-line and natural product vendor options. But if you’re looking for quality CE that meets WAC requirements and actually helps improve your clinical skills and your patient’s quality of life, look no further than the WANP to help you meet these needs. Our Continuing Education Committee has been working very hard to meet the needs of our members and to present conferences of the highest educational value.  We have been focusing on goals to strengthen the clinical relevance of our topics, to improve the quality of our speaker’s presentations and to impart practical, clinical knowledge that you can use in your offices the next day.

Please mark your calendars for November 10 & 11, 2012 for our next event, “Primary Care Update: An Integrative Approach.” The focus of this conference is on common primary care topics and the intention is to help our doctors balance the worlds of allopathic and naturopathic medicines by providing information on initiating or withdrawing medications, concomitant use of medicines (natural or synthetic) along with the core elements of our medicine.  Presentations will include case studies and sharing of in-depth clinical information.

Speakers and topics for the Fall conference include:

Eric Yarnell, ND – Esophageal Reflux Syndromes

Kasra Pournadeali, ND – Getting comfortable choosing anti-hypertensives: when non-drug options fail

Robert Martinez, ND – Integrative approach to back pain: clinical pathways and procedures

Ryan Bradley, ND – A patient-centered approach to diabetes management

Matt Brignall, ND – Community standards of care for asthma

Paul Anderson ND – Migraines: Naturopathic management & integrated treatment using prescription and natural interventions

and, Anxiety: Naturopathic management & integrated treatment using prescription and natural medicines

Cathy Rogers, ND – Effecting deep change by integrating present moment therapeutic communication into your practice

To Register Click Here

We look forward to seeing you at the conference and as always, we welcome your feedback and suggestions for future conferences.

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