In 2016, the California College of Ayurveda became the first school in the United States to training Ayurvedic Doctors. This training program was approved at the time by the Bureau of Private Post-Secondary education, a California State institution. In 2022, the BPPE determined that it would no longer approve or re-approve programs training Ayurvedic Doctors. During this period, the College graduated approximately 50 Ayurvedic Doctors.
Following the State Approval of California College of Ayurveda’s Doctor program, other schools in the State began to offer State Approved Doctor programs. In 2022, all schools were notified that their programs would not be re-approved.
The National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA), the largest National Association of Practitioners created a membership designation for Ayurvedic Doctors in 2017. While NAMA does not educate nor certify Ayurvedic Doctors, they created academic educational standards and national board examinations to serve as membership exams into their organization at various levels, including the Ayurvedic Doctor. Membership however does not expand or protect the right to practice.
Today, as of the writing of this article, there are no State recognized educational programs leading to an Ayurvedic Doctor (Clinical degree or certificate) in the United States. This is different than a Ph.D. in Ayurveda, which is an academic (intellectual) degree that can be offered by institutions of higher knowledge. Several Colleges and Universities are presently pursuing accredited Ph.D. type academic programs. However, these degrees should not be mistaken as a clinical degrees /certificates nor do they expand or protect the right to practice.
It is hoped that in the near future, the Ayurvedic community can come together to develop a unified plan leading toward a Clinical Ayurvedic Degree/ Certificate and subsequent State Licensing for practitioners.