New study seeks input from naturopaths on educational needs and preferences

Rows of desks and chairs in a classroom

In a pioneering research initiative for the naturopathic profession in Australia, researchers are investigating the educational needs and preferences of naturopaths through an online survey.

Led by the National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine’s Deputy Director of Education Associate Professor Matthew Leach and Dr Andrea Bugarcic, Course Coordinator, the study invites naturopaths who have a formal qualification and reside in Australia to have their say.

Associate Professor Leach said that all health professionals, including naturopathic practitioners, have a professional obligation to ensure their knowledge and skills are current.

“In order to support the continuing professional development needs of the naturopathic medicine profession, we first need to understand what the profession needs,” said Associate Professor Leach.

To date, continuing professional development (CPD) has received little attention in the field of naturopathy despite the importance of this area in other fields of health.

“Naturopaths need to have access to appropriate CPD training to retain clinical competency and to deliver safe and effective naturopathic care,” Associate Professor Leach said.

“The survey will for the first time identify what Australian naturopaths want in terms of future educational opportunities, including preferred methods of delivery.

“This information is vital in ensuring educational programs and activities are developed to align with the propensities of the Australian naturopathic medicine profession,” said Associate Professor Leach.

Dr Bugarcic said it was the duty of educators to ensure courses closely aligned with the needs of the profession.

“This survey will allow us to explore this need in collaboration with the profession without predisposed assumptions and work together to a sustainable future.

“Tell us what you need, and we will aim to make it happen,” said Dr Bugarcic.

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