Future of healthcare boosted by new landmark clinical training program

Published 16 December 2021
A woman explaining information to a man

In an exciting development for the future of healthcare, Southern Cross University is launching an innovative new clinical training program at its National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine.

The new program, launching in 2022 and now open for application, will include a three-year Bachelor of Health Science (Health and Lifestyle), providing a direct pathway into a one-year Master of Naturopathic Medicine, where students will gain the clinical hours required to practise as a naturopath.

The first degree of its kind in Australia, this Master's will also be offered as a 2-year graduate-entry program, allowing graduates of other health professions to train as clinical naturopaths. The combined four-year program will serve as the flagship clinical training program at the National Centre.

“We are launching a landmark program for the future of healthcare and naturopathic medicine,” said Professor Jon Wardle, Foundation Director and Professor of Public Health.

“Not only will students gain the knowledge and skills to practice as a clinical naturopath, it is the only program in Australia that will qualify graduates to practice in specialised and integrative healthcare settings, such as integrative clinics and aged care, and our students will be studying and working from day one in an inter-professional capacity with other health practitioners,” he said.

Developed by leading experts in the field, these degrees will be taught by health practitioners with experience in evidence-based medicine, who have extensive knowledge and clinical skills in the fields of complementary and alternative medicine.

The undergraduate program will provide students with a solid foundation in evidence-based practice and a deep understanding of naturopathic medicine’s philosophical foundations, focused on improving patient health outcomes, supporting a patient’s innate ability to heal, and addressing the underlying causes of illness.

Students who complete the four-year clinical training program will be qualified as clinical naturopaths. Graduates will be equipped to work in private practice, or work alongside medical doctors and allied health professionals in integrative healthcare settings, as well as a range of acute healthcare settings, such as aged care, palliative care or an emergency department.

“There are significant gaps in the current healthcare system. Naturopaths have an important role in filling some of those gaps. When it comes to preventative care and building support strategies for patients, we have an opportunity to contribute meaningful solutions to healthcare needs through naturopathic education, research and advocacy,” said Professor Wardle.

“Nearly one in ten Australians saw a naturopath in the past twelve months, and global use is increasing. Given the increasing demand for traditional, complementary and integrative health services, there is a need to build a naturopathic workforce that not only has the capability to support significant growth, but is also able to effectively meet the health care needs of a growing population through the provision of quality health care,” he said.

This is the only Naturopathic Medicine degree in Australia offering Commonwealth Supported places (HECS-HELP). For more information and to apply, visit Study Naturopathic Medicine at Southern Cross University.

The National Centre for Naturopathic Medicine at Southern Cross University is an internationally recognised centre of excellence and innovation in naturopathic medicine and health education, research and practice. We create, promote and advocate a strong culture of incorporating evidence-based science into healthcare education and clinical practice. 

Media contact: Sharlene King, media office at Southern Cross University +61 429 661 349 or scumedia@scu.edu.au