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

Sacramento Naturopathic Medical Center

Sacramento Naturopathic Medical Center

2530 J Street Suite 100
Sacramento, California 95816

Sacramento Center for Health and Healing

Sacramento Center for Health and Healing

2131 Capitol Ave, Suite 300
Sacramento, California 95816

Embody Wellness

Embody Wellness

805 Wales Dr., Suite 2
Folsom, California 95630

Elke Cooke, M.D.

Elke Cooke, M.D.

2295 Gateway Oaks Dr., Suite 105
Sacramento, California 95833