Dominican Republic

Alban Central America

Dominican Republic

Background Information

The principal traditional medical specialties are vodun, ensalmadorismo, and herbalism.


There are between 2000 and 3000 practitioners practicing traditional health in the Dominican Republic.

Regulatory Situation

Although there is an official program linking traditional medicine with allopathic medicine, there is no official registry of traditional health practitioners, and traditional medicine practitioners are not licensed in the Dominican Republic.

Education and Training

The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare offers training programs for traditional birth attendants in hospitals and health centers throughout the Dominican Republic. The Pan American Health Organization assisted in revising these programs in 1973. There are no other institutions that teach traditional medicine. Instead, traditional medicine is taught through apprenticeships with experienced practitioners. Traditional medical knowledge may also be transmitted through dreams and personal revelations. There are no official training programs in traditional medicine for allopathic health personnel.