Frequently asked questions about naturopathic medicine and naturopathic physician Dr. Matthew Fisel

The following are our frequently asked questions:

Why should I visit Dr. Fisel?

Trying to find a physician that’s right for you is a process that should take careful thought and consideration. Being healthy is a lifelong investment, so it’s important that you choose a doctor who’s best interest is in your well being. With Dr. Fisel, the doctor-patient relationship starts with identifying your obstacles to health and empowering you to overcome them. Ultimately, you are in control of your own health, instead of feeling like an insignificant piece in today’s overwhelming health care puzzle. We take the extra time to listen to your concerns and get to know you as a person, a valuable quality that’s hard to find in medicine today.

What’s the difference between an MD and an ND?

Naturopathic doctors (ND) are licensed to practice as primary care physicians, relying more on natural therapies to treat their patients rather than pharmaceuticals and surgery. They attend four year accredited medical schools that are structured similarly to conventional medical schools. The first two years consist of coursework in basic sciences, such as biochemistry, anatomy and physiology. The last two years are spent doing clinical rotations and studying conventional clinical diagnosis and treatment. In addition, NDs are also trained in the natural healing arts, such as clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, spinal manipulation, homeopathy and mind-body medicine. To obtain their license, NDs must pass a series of rigorous basic science and clinical board exams. They typically practice as primary care providers or family medicine doctors.

Do you work with other physicians?

Yes, we believe that it’s important to have a working relationship with other types of physicians in order to give you the most comprehensive care possible. If you are working with another physician, we will try to communicate with them so we can coordinate your care. We can also refer you to a specialist if we feel that it’s a necessary step in helping you achieve an optimal state of health.

Are you covered by insurance?

We are currently a provider for Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Oxford Health Plans, Cigna, Aetna, United Health, Harvard Pilgrim and Connecticare. In addition, the State of Connecticut requires any private health insurance plan to include a provision for out-of-network providers, so most PPO plans reimburse patients for naturopathic care. We will help you to get reimbursed by providing you with the forms you need to file a claim with your insurance company.

What is your philosophy of patient care and treatment?

We strongly believe in adhering to the core principles of naturopathic medicine. Our top priority is to listen to the patient and treat them as an individual, rather than a disease.

Is naturopathic medicine safe?

While some natural remedies can potentially cause harm, a majority of them are safe and non-toxic. I exercise extreme caution when treating my patients, using therapies that have little potential to cause side effects. Naturopathic doctors also have extensive training in the use of pharmaceuticals, so they are able to avoid any possible interactions that may occur between drugs and natural therapeutics.

Do naturopaths use the same diagnostic tools as other physicians?

Naturopathic doctors utilize physical examination and laboratory evidence to determine a definitive diagnosis, just as medical doctors do. Other services, such as “alternative” laboratories that offer specialized testing, are often used as well.

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