Sometimes you just have to scream!
I've recently been informed by my certification board, (the American Naturopathic Medical Certification Board or ANMCB) that someone has contacted them to inquire about my education and the title I've been using.
While I have always tried to be very transparent about my background I understand that calling myself DOCTOR Kathryn can be confusing to some. Of course anyone who has ever met me or sat with me in a consultation would recognize right away that I am nothing like a licensed medical doctor. Now, despite the fact that the ANMCB has given me the honorary educational title of Board Certified Naturopathic Doctor, they suggest I only use the initials ND after my name and not call myself Dr. Kathryn.
The ANMCB has assured me that this inquiry is likely from a competitor (later confirmed to be a local competitor) and nothing to be concerned about. They also state that with a potential licensing bill introduced by Naturopathic Physicians causes more inquiries like this to occur.
We have a very broken system where Naturopaths are fighting Naturopaths in order to differentiate themselves and receive respect from the wider community. Shouldn't we be working harder to establish ourselves as an alternative to conventional medicine? Are there so many of us that we need to fight each other like dogs over a scrap of meat? Are there not enough clients to go around?
I'm a simple person. I don't want to fight the system and I don't want to try and compete with naturopathic physicians or medical doctors or chiropractors or nutritionists or whatever other labels people want to give themselves. I just want to help normal people heal themselves naturally.
So, I'm going to change my email address, my website, my flyers, my business cards and every scrap of paper that uses "Dr.". It might take me some time so bear with me. I'm not going to call myself Dr. Kathryn anymore even though I feel that people with similar training to myself have just as much right as anyone to use that title. From now on, I'm just Kathryn. Kathryn Doran-Fisher, ND, CGP.
I was trained by the Naturopathic Institute of Therapies and Education by wonderful instructors and mentors that I will be forever grateful to. I was certified by an organization that fights for the rights of their members to practice and offers them support for which I am also grateful. I was called Dr. Kathryn by clients who appreciate and value my insight and education for helping them to heal themselves. I am not a licensed doctor as there is currently no licensing in the state of Michigan for Naturopathic Doctors. I have no medical training, I do not do surgery, prescribe pharmaceuticals, use antibiotics, administer vaccines, request laboratory tests, offer diagnosis, or anything else a medical doctor would do. I do not typically even recommend nutraceuticals or isolated nutritional supplements as many Naturopathic Physicians do. I am mainly concerned with offering suggestions based on my educational background, my clinical work, and my own life experiences to help other people make sense of what they are experiencing using real food, whole herbs, and good old-fashioned techniques.
So if all of that sounds okay to you, come and see me: Kathryn. Not because I have a title but because I might be able to help.
Sorry for any confusion.
Kathryn Doran-Fisher is a Traditional Naturopath, Certified GAPS Practitioner and owner of Elder & Sage.