What should I expect at my first visit?
The initial visit is largely information-gathering and tends to last from one to one and a half hours. We will have an in-depth conversation about your current health concerns and your health history. We will formulate a treatment plan that works for you.
I’ve never seen an ND, how do I know if it is right for me?
Please contact us to schedule a complementary 10 minute telephone consult. This is an introductory interview for you to meet the doctor. We will briefly discuss your health complaints and goals but will not formulate any treatment plans as a more in depth interview is necessary to tailor treatment to you.
What is a naturopathic doctor?
Naturopathic doctors (NDs) are trained as primary care physicians and specialists in natural medicine at four-year, nationally accredited naturopathic medical schools. Naturopathic medical students practice diagnosis and treatment of patients under the supervision of attending physicians in their clinical rotations. I did mine at the Bastyr Center for Natural Health. In addition, to be eligible for licensure, NDs must pass two sets of national board exams. You can see a comparison of the naturopathic versus medical academic and clinical curricula here.
But NDs are more than just natural specialists. We are holistic doctors who take a unique approach to healthcare. We treat the whole person; we look at all of the factors that are creating health or disease. Naturopathic diagnosis is focused on identifying the underlying causes of disease and re-establishing the basis for health. We combine current research on health and human systems with centuries-old knowledge to support your body’s ability to heal from within. The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians has a more in-depth description here. If you are interested in pursuing naturopathic education, this is a good place to start.
Are you certified in Functional Medicine? No. I do respect the training that the Institute of Functional Medicine offers clinicians who are conventionally trained. But I do not feel the need to complete this program. Naturopathic medical training is a full-time 4-5 year program that covers the same topics and more. Naturopathic doctors are some of the favorite teachers at the IFM classes!
Will insurance cover my visit?
Currently, 22 states, the District of Columbia, and the United States territories of Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands have licensing or registration laws for naturopathic doctors. Dr. Tomsovic is able to bill insurance for Vermont patients. She is an in-network provider with Vermont Medicaid, Cigna, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont, MVP, and Harvard Pilgrim. (HP requires a referral from your PCP.) Insurance companies do not currently cover naturopathic medicine in Massachusetts, but some will cover the visit if it takes place in Vermont. If finances are the primary obstacle to receiving the care you need, please inquire about the Full Circle Clinic.
Is naturopathic medicine the same as homeopathy?
Not quite, although there is some overlap. Homeopathy is a non-toxic form of medicine that stimulates the inherent ability of the body to heal itself. It is one of the tools in the naturopathic tool chest. Most homeopathic doctors only practice homeopathy. NDs have extensive training in the basic medical sciences (anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, immunology etc) and the clinical sciences (pediatrics, gynecology, gastroenterology etc). NDs are also trained in other modalities like clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, physical medicine, and counseling. My main focus is nutrition and lifestyle counseling, with botanical, nutraceutical, and manual interventions as appropriate.