NFM Health FAQs
Why don’t you have reception?
We do not have a live receptionist at any of our Seattle locations. We do, however, have virtual assistants that are helping behind the scenes to get patients scheduled and answer questions. When you call our office you can leave a message for our scheduling department with any questions or concerns that you have. We will return your call typically within a few hours. At times we are swamped and it can take up to 1 business day to get a call back. Please be assured that we are checking messages multiple times a day and are always prioritizing concerns that come in. We will return your call as soon as possible.
Additional forms of communication that are available to patients:
- You can message your doctor directly through the Charm patient portal.
- You can text us to the main office number (for any clinic location).
- You can send us an email: email@example.com
I’m an established patient. How do I schedule online?
There are two ways to schedule a visit. You can schedule directly through our website here or you can request an appointment through the Charm Patient Portal.
To request an appointment through the Charm Patient Portal:
- Log onto Charmphr.com
- Select “appointments” box
- Press “request appointment”
- Select your provider from dropdown box
- Select appropriate appointment type using the examples given
- Choose the appointment time
- Tell us the reason for your visit and press “schedule”
Who do I contact for billing questions?
Two ways to contact our billing department:
- Login to ChARM and message the Billing Department
- Call our office via the main number and press the corresponding extension to be transferred to billing.
What is the difference between a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) and a Medical Doctor (MD)?
There are 2 basic differences between these two types of physicians. The first is a difference in philosophy. NDs subscribe to certain tenets which include:
- First, do no harm
- Educate and share knowledge with patients
- Prevention of disease is the best medicine
The second difference is in the tools that each physician uses. Most MDs have a pharmacy based practice, whereas NDs will use many tools for healing, including botanical medicine, nutritional medicine, lifestyle counseling, physical medicine, pharmaceutical medications, and counseling through active listening. In addition, you will typically get more time with an ND when you have an appointment, as we believe it is very important to establish a relationship with our patients and have time to get to know them.
What are the training and licensing requirements for an ND?
There are seven accredited naturopathic programs across eight North American campuses. Students must have completed a bachelor’s degree prior to admission, with the ND curriculum encompassing an additional 4-5 years of doctorate level education. During this training, the first 2 years are very similar in credit load and course information to a conventional medical school, and includes anatomy, physiology, pathology, microbiology, etc. The final years of ND medical school are focused on treatment options, philosophy, and clinical training. ND’s do not have hospital training, nor do they do specialty rotations as MD’s do. After graduation, ND’s are required to take a national licensing exam called the NPLEX. Not all states have licensing available for ND’s at this time. Please check out WWW.NATUROPATHIC.ORG for more information about which states ND’s are currently able to be licensed in.
Can an ND prescribe medication?
Yes. NDs in Washington state have full prescriptive rights, with the exception of narcotic medications, stimulant medications, chemotherapies, and benzodiazepines.
Can an ND serve as a primary care physician?
Yes. In Washington state ND’s serve as primary care physicians to many patients. Check with your insurance for any restrictions.
What can I expect from my visits?
Your first visit will be approximately 1 hour in length. You will discuss your full history and current symptoms. Your doctor may also complete a physical exam or order lab tests. At the end of your visit you will receive a personalized holistic treatment plan that addresses your concerns. Most of the visit may seem like a visit to your conventional doctor, as we often use similar assessment techniques. Where the visit will differ is in the treatment plan. Generally more time is spent reviewing the steps of the treatment and educating you on lifestyle changes that will benefit you.
Will my insurance cover ND care?
That depends. Please call your insurance to verify benefits as all plans are different. Our physicians are preferred providers for many insurance companies. Deductibles and copays may apply. See more about this in our insurance and fees section.
Will my insurance cover prescribed herbal and nutritional supplements?
No. However, many HSA (health spending accounts) are allowing coverage of supplements that are prescribed to you by your doctor.
What if I need to reach you after hours for an emergency?
We have a 24 hour after hours line with a doctor on call that is available for patients to utilize when needed. We charge a $45 fee per call (this is not covered by insurance).
Can you serve as my baby’s pediatrician?
Yes. Our providers are not licensed pediatricians, but they all have experience working with the pediatric population. Our physicians are comfortable serving as the primary care physician for your baby and will always refer if needed to a MD pediatrician or specialist.
Do you give immunizations to babies?
Yes. We carry all vaccinations recommended by the CDC to children. We are a non-bully clinic and look forward to having open and honest conversations with parents about vaccinations. We are happy to go through the routine schedule or devise an alternative schedule that works for you.
“We have had such lovely and positive experiences at West Seattle Natural Medicine. I recommend it all the time. The attention, explanations, and respect given here are amazing.”
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