Types of Bioidentical Hormone Therapy Doctors and Practitioners

Differentiating designations for healthcare providers

Healthcare professionals can hold many different degrees and designations. Here’s a quick guide to help you determine what sort of education and training potential BHRT providers have:


M.D. = Medical Doctor

  • 4-year undergraduate degree concentrated on science coursework
  • 4 years of medical school
  • 3-6 years of internships and residencies
  • can select a specialty to develop expertise in areas such as cardiology, endocrinology, gynecology, obstetrics, pediatrics, psychiatry or surgery
  • may not select a specialty and opt to serve as a primary-care physician

D.O. = Doctor of Osteopathy

  • 4-year undergraduate degree concentrated on science coursework
  • 4 years of medical school
  • 3-6 years of internships and residencies
  • can select a specialty, but most osteopathic doctors become primary-care physicians
  • extra training in the musculoskeletal system – muscles, bones, and nerves
  • approach tends to be more holistic than M.D.s

N.D. = Naturopathic Doctor

  • 4-year undergraduate degree
  • 4 years of a graduate program at an accredited naturopathic school; curriculum concentrates on nutrition, hydrotherapy, botanical and homeopathic medicine
  • considered a primary-care physician; can prescribe limited amounts of medications, order lab tests, perform routine medical exams, and refer patients to specialists
  • focuses on using natural and non-invasive therapies, and treating the person as a whole

D.C. = Doctorate of Chiropractic degree

  • 4-year undergraduate degree
  • 4 years of medical school
  • concentrates on the musculoskeletal system
  • provides pain relief by realigning bones and tissues

L.A.c. = Licensed Acupuncturist

  • 4-year undergraduate degree
  • typically 4 years of a graduate program concentrated on acupuncture, physiology, Chinese medical concepts, herbal pharmacology, nutrition and internal medicine
  • completes programs based on both western and eastern modalities of medicine

N.P. or R.N.P. = Nurse Practitioner or Registered Nurse Practitioner

  • 4-year undergraduate degree
  • completes a graduate program in nursing, such as an M.S.N. [Master of Science in Nursing]
  • can serve as a primary-care physician
  • may select a specialty

F.N.P.-C = Certified Family Nurse Practitioner

  • specializes in primary care, women’s health, pediatrics or geriatrics

F.A.C.O.G = Fellow of American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology

  • specialty training in obstetrics and gynecology

N.C.M.P = National Certified Menopause Practitioner

  • extra training in issues related to menopause and perimenopause

F.A.C.E. = Fellow of the College of Endocrinology

  • board-certified with specialty training in endocrinology, the system that controls hormonal and adrenal function

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