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There are many avenues by which a person can begin practicing homeopathy in the US. The type of education you have, where you received your education, and the state in which you live are all factors that may affect your path towards practicing homeopathy.
The information presented below is meant to provide an overview of the factors involved in practicing homeopathy in the US. For more specific information regarding practicing homeopathy in your area, please contact your state Attorney General’s office directly.
Certification in Homeopathy
A certification in homeopathy indicates your proficiency in homeopathy to patients and other practitioners using a known standard. Please note that the certification is not a license to practice homeopathy. Licenses can only be granted by states.
The following organizations offer a certification in homeopathy in North America:
- Council for Homeopathic Certification (CHC): This organization certifies classical homeopaths.
- American Board of Homeotherapeutics (ABHt): This organization certifies licensed medical and osteopathic physicians in classical homeopathy.
- Homeopathic Academy of Naturopathic Physicians (HANP): This organization certifies naturopaths (NDs).
Other specialty organizations for professional homeopaths are:
- North American Society of homeopaths (NASH)
- The Academy of Homeopathic Veterinarians – Veterinarians
- The Homeopathic Nurses Association – Nurses
- American Institute of Homeopathy – Medical professionals
Licensure in Homeopathy
There is no diploma or certificate from any school or program recognized as a license to practice homeopathy in the US. Individual state laws and licensing boards regulate the practice of homeopathy and each state's laws and requirements for practice may be different. NCH does not have information about licensure in any particular state and is not able to give legal advice related to obtaining licensure or practicing homeopathy in a particular state.
If you have questions about licensure requirements to practice homeopathy in a particular state, we recommend contacting the state directly to inquire about legality of practicing homeopathy. If you hold a license to practice any form of medicine, therapy, or treatment, first contact your state licensing board about the legality of you integrating homeopathy into your business. Some states consider homeopathy to be a medical specialty, meaning one must first obtain a license to practice traditional or natural medicine, then the individual may be allowed to integrate homeopathy into their practice if their state licensing board allows it. Some states might not have any definitive laws on the practice of homeopathy, but might have laws on the practice of "alternative" therapies by non-licensed practitioners.
- There is no license offered to professionals to practice homeopathy in the United States, with the exception of three states that license MDs & DOs to practice homeopathy. Those states are Arizona, Nevada, and Connecticut.
- Several US states license naturopathic physicians (NDs) to diagnose and treat illness using many methods of natural therapies including homeopathy. Visit the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges for a list of accredited schools: www.aanmc.org.
- Several US states have adopted legislation that allows unlicensed complementary and alternative health practitioners the freedom to practice as long as they give full disclosure of their training and background: Minnesota, California, Rhode Island, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Idaho and New Mexico. Each of these states has its own regulations and guidelines which you will need to obtain from the state directly.
Some suggested steps to take if you are interested in practicing homeopathy in your state:
- If you hold a license to practice any form of medicine, therapy, or treatment, first contact your licensing board about the legality of incorporating homeopathy into your business.
- Contact the state directly to inquire about the legality of practicing homeopathy. You might start with the Office of the Attorney General in your state.
- Contact other professional homeopaths with businesses in the state in which you plan to practice. Sometimes fellow homeopaths don't mind sharing their knowledge of the legal process for operating a homeopathic business in their state. NCH members can use the Member Directory or the Practitioner Directory on this site to find professionals in their area.
- Contact professional societies and certifying organizations such as Council for Homeopathic Certification and the North American Society of Homeopaths.
- Seek professional legal advice from a lawyer located in the state in which you plan to practice.
- Read “Legal Issues in Homeopathic Practice”, an article by Dana Ullman, MPH.
- Review the homeoinfo.com "Legal issues in homeopathy" page from the The Foundation for the Advancement of Innovative Medicine (FAIM). Their website is www.faim.org. Their "Board Member & Staff" page shows that several individuals there have experience and knowledge in homeopathy.
- Get connected within the homeopathy community - join NCH as a member to easily connect with like-minded people.
About Foreign Medical Degrees
For a foreign medical degree to be recognized in this country it must have been granted to a graduate of a medical school that is listed in the World Directory of Medical Schools at the time of the person's graduation. The World Health Organization publishes this directory. Having satisfied this requirement, a graduate who possesses such a degree and wishes to practice medicine in the US must pass a two-day examination in basic and clinical sciences administered jointly by the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) and the Educational Commission of Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG). The foreign medical graduate must also demonstrate competence in oral and written English. To do this, the graduate must take the ECFMG English test. Complete information regarding requirements can be obtained from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-2685, USA (215) 386-5900 or through their website at www.ecfmg.org.