Barriers, challenges and successes to practice, operation and data collection in naturopathic medical clinics in low- or middle-income countries (LMIC)

Principal Investigator: Wendy Hodsdon, ND

Background: Naturopathic Physicians (NDs) are practicing on most continents around the world but there is very little known about the operation of these clinics outside of North America. Naturopathic clinics abroad may be playing a unique role in the distribution of health care services. No studies have been published from naturopathic clinics abroad and it is unknown how they are practicing or if they are able to appropriately meet the needs of their patient population. Furthermore, these clinics may have specific challenges associated with both daily operation and data collection.

Objective: To assess the barriers, challenges and successes experienced by NDs currently or formerly working abroad in low- or middle-income countries (LMIC).

Subjects: Participants are NDs who have graduated from an accredited, 4-year, post-baccalaureate naturopathic medical school in the US or Canada, and  have practiced naturopathic medicine in a LMIC. Subjects will be recruited from naturopathic medical school alumni lists, professional naturopathic global health group mailing lists, public-domain ND websites and American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) member mailing lists.

Intervention: Participants will be asked to fill out a survey online, which will take approximately 20 minutes to complete. The survey will be made available in a word-document format and emailed directly to participants who do not have access to a reliable internet connection. Upon completion, the participants will be enrolled in a raffle for two $100 gift cards.

Expected Results: The results of this survey will provide demographic information about NDs who are practicing abroad. It will also provide information about specific cultural and logistical challenges to working in the surveyed countries. Furthermore, the survey will provide information about interest and perceived capability to participate in future research studies.