Founder Dr. Michael Cronin and co-founders Dr. Kyle Cronin, Dr. Konrad Kail, Dr. Dana Keaton, Dr. Hugh Hawk, and Deborah Mainville-Knight incorporate SCNM
Treating the whole person and embracing the healing power of nature
Welcome to Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine. SCNM has a rich history of sending naturopathic physicians into the world with not just a knowledge of naturopathic medicine but a rich experience in its healing effects. We train and prepare graduates for the future of medicine and health care. Since day one, we have been an innovator in the field of naturopathic medicine and we strive to advance the profession and opportunities for graduates.
As a student at SCNM, you’ll learn in the classroom setting and clinic environment as well as in student clubs, activities and study groups. At SCNM, students are united in a calling to become NDs and the supportive community is here to fuel their success.
To know SCNM, is to first know and understand what naturopathic medicine is.
What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic medicine is a general practice field, though many naturopaths develop specialties and areas of emphasis. Such medicine is complementary to conventional medicine and dedicated to the study and celebration of holistic health and healing, covering all aspects of family health from prenatal to geriatric care. It blends centuries-old natural, non-toxic therapies with cutting-edge advances in medical science, and is committed to empowering patients to retain control over their health and well-being.
Naturopathic medicine concentrates on whole-patient wellness; the medicine is tailored to the patient and emphasizes prevention and self care. Naturopathic medicine attempts to locate and treat the underlying cause of the patient’s condition rather than focusing solely on symptomatic treatment.
The Naturopathic Physician
Naturopathic physicians are primary care physicians clinically trained in natural therapeutics and whose philosophy is derived in part from the 2000-year-old Hippocratic teaching (vis mediatrix naturae) that nature is the healer of all diseases. Their practice is based on same bio-medical science foundation that conventional practice is; however, their treatment philosophies and approaches differ considerably.
While naturopathic physicians and conventional physicians share common diagnostic methods, naturopathic physicians treat patients using natural therapies such as physical manipulation, clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, counseling, acupuncture, and hydrotherapy. They choose treatment based on the individual patient, not based on the generality of symptoms.
Naturopathic physicians spend a great deal more time with their patients. Like conventional family doctors, many naturopathic physicians have the credentials to prescribe medication and make a full range of treatment decisions, but focus on developing a collaborative relationship with the patient, with the goal of empowering them to steer and improve their own health with greater independence from professional treatment.
Naturopathic physicians cooperate with all other branches of medical science, referring patients to other practitioners for diagnosis or treatment when appropriate. This approach has proven successful in treating both chronic and acute conditions.
Six Principles of Naturopathic Medicine
Naturopathic medicine uses therapies that are safe and effective. Since the goal is to identify and treat the cause, naturopathic physicians avoid, and consider harmful, treatments that obscure the cause by suppressing symptoms.
The human body is inherently able to restore and maintain health. The physician’s role is to support the body’s innate abilities with natural, non-toxic therapies, and to assist the patient in creating a healthy environment and lifestyle.
Symptoms are viewed as expressions of the body’s natural attempt to heal. Naturopathic physicians seek and treat the underlying cause of a disease. The origin of disease is removed or treated so the patient can recover.
The human body, mind, and spirit are fully integrated aspects of a person’s overall being. Each patient is a unique whole, and requires individualized and comprehensive consideration for healing to occur.
The naturopathic physician’s most important role is to empower the patient to reclaim agency over his or her own health. The physician strives to instill the patient with hope and knowledge. Ultimately, it is the patient not the physician who achieves healing.
As Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Naturopathic physicians shift the emphasis from fighting disease to building and maintaining good health. The ultimate goal of naturopathic medicine is prevention.
Now that you know more about the medicine we teach and practice, it’s important to know about our long history in the Valley of the Sun providing education and care for those looking for integrative care. From our inception, we've blended new ways of learning and teaching with timeless principles of naturopathic and conventional medicine.
SCNM was founded in 1993. It quickly outgrew its first home and moved to the current Tempe campus in 1996. The medical center remained in Scottsdale until 2010 when a campus expansion made it possible to co-locate academic learning with clinical services and training in Tempe.
Anyone who has visited the campus will tell you that SCNM is much more than a bricks and mortar academic institution…it’s a place where passionate, like-minded students, faculty and staff come together to make a difference in people’s lives. And, the feeling is tangible on campus.
Throughout the decades, our student body grew from its inaugural class of 42 to its current size exceeding 400. We remain committed to our founders’ vision of making the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine a force for change to help transform healthcare.
SCNM opens its doors in Scottsdale, AZ, to 42 naturopathic medical students
SCNM research program established, the SCNM Medical Center opens in Scottsdale, AZ
SCNM confers the degree of naturopathic physician on 31 individuals at the first graduation, SCNM relocates to the Tempe campus as a result of continuous growth in enrollment, faculty and staff
Naturopathic medicine in Arizona hits a major milestone when CIGNA signs a contract covering naturopathic medical care for Maricopa County employees
SCNM receives initial accreditation status with the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education
SCNM receives a generous donation from Dolisos, enabling SCNM to bring Dr. Stephen Messer to chair the Department of Homeopathy
SCNM announces the opening of the SCNM Career Center, the first of its kind in naturopathic medical education, the SCNM Medical Center undergoes a renovation making it a green facility
SCNM and Gaia Herbs receive a $2.2M grant from the NIH to study the plant echinacea from "soil to bedside", SCNM opens a children's clinic at the Arthur M. Hamilton Elementary School in South Phoenix
SCNM embarks on renovation and expansion of main building with the addition of the Connors and Sullivan Biomedical Sciences Wing, SCNM creates a residency in homeopathy, the first of its kind in the U.S.
SCNM students found Naturopaths Without Borders (NWB), the first Naturopathic Gathering forum is held at SCNM
AANP recognizes the SCNM Career Services Department for national lobbying efforts for naturopathic physicians
SCNM’s Pediatric Department Chair, Dr. Matt Baral appears on Dateline special “Autism: The Unorthodox Practice of Chelation”, Drs. Jonci Jensen and Leila Turner found the Naturopathic Medical Student Association
With generous philanthropic assistance, SCNM expands services and builds a beautiful new clinic at the Hamilton Elementary School, SCNM Residency Program approved by the CNME
SCNM Research Department partners with Arizona State University Biodesign Institute, the University of Arizona, and the Translational Genomics Research Institute. The Doctoré Development Center (DDC) opens
SCNM acquires a 42,000 square foot building adjacent to the college for the new on-campus medical center
SCNM launches the first major curriculum revision in the profession in decades, featuring systems-based sciences education, team-based learning and a field observation clinical program
SCNM is one of the first schools to launch the profession's centralized ND application system (NDCAS), new SCNM Medical Center's grand opens, SCNM’s Dr. Christine Girard, is named AANP Physician of the Year
Total SCNM enrollment reaches all-time high of 387 students
SCNM expands partnership with Sojourner Center, the largest domestic violence center in the U.S., and opens a free community clinic at a second location
SCNM's community clinic opens at Adelante Healthcare Mesa, SCNM breaks ground on a new 47,000 sq. ft. Community Commons building
Total SCNM enrollment reaches a record 427 students, campus expansion further progresses with interior design touches by Jain Malkin, known as one of the best healthcare designers in the world
Grand opening of the new Community Commons Building, SCNM becomes first Arizona medical school to open a Student Veterans of America chapter
SCNM hosts Her Excellency Margaret Kenyatta, First Lady of Kenya, The City of Tempe awards SCNM one of eight MLK Diversity Awards