In addition to alternate educational and training requirements, the major difference between a homeopathic physician, also known as a naturopathic doctor, and a traditional medical doctor is the emphasis on natural and preventative healing techniques. A naturopathic doctor uses natural medicines and treatments to enhance the body's own healing ability.
Both naturopathic doctors and medical doctors stem from the same basic medical background, wherein both study the human body, the history of modern medicine and the most current mainstream medical practices and treatments. However, over the course of medical school and post-school clinical training, a naturopathic doctor shifts her focus onto treating each patient holistically, incorporating natural and non-invasive practices to resolve any medical issues.
A naturopathic doctor always looks at each patient's life as a whole, rather than simply the illness at hand, and seeks the most effective way to resolve the illness while posing a minimal intrusion into the patients life. This often occurs through long-term education and training on healthy life practices, including a proper diet and exercise as well as identifying and removing any unhealthy behaviors. It may also involve non-traditional medical treatments, such as acupuncture and herbal remedies over surgery and various drugs. This does not mean a naturopathic doctor avoids such routes completely, but rather saves them as a last resort over helping the body to heal itself.