Is naturopathic medicine the same as homeopathy?
No. Naturopathic doctors are general practitioners of natural medicine. Depending on a patient’s health needs, a naturopathic doctor may include homeopathy in an individualized treatment plan, but it is only one of many treatment methods NDs are trained to use. Homeopaths are trained solely in homeopathy and do not use other treatment methods.
What is a naturopathic doctor?
Naturopathic doctors are provincially-regulated primary care providers. With extensive education, including a pre-med degree and four years of training at an accredited naturopathic college, NDs integrate standard medical diagnostics with a broad range of natural therapies. NDs are eclectic, each with a slightly different approach, but they all believe that balancing the mind, body and environment is the path to optimal health because it supports the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Naturopathic doctors are also experts at early detection, prevention and treatment of chronic disease, and their personalized treatment plans work with each individual patient’s lifestyle and body chemistry.
What can I expect from my first visit to a naturopathic doctor?
During the first visit, your ND wants to get to know you as a person, what your health goals are and how you have managed your health in the past. Expect to be there for an hour or more to give your ND adequate time to complete the picture. As well as performing a physical exam based on your health complaints, your ND will also ask you about your mental, emotional and spiritual health, your diet and lifestyle, and treatments you may be receiving from other health care providers. By the end of the visit, your ND will present an individualized treatment plan and may suggest further testing.
Are naturopathic doctors regulated in Ontario?
Yes. Naturopathic doctors are regulated in Ontario under the 1925 Drugless Therapy Act and are registered (licensed) by the Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy-Naturopathy (BDDT-N). The BDDT-N’s mandate is to ensure that naturopathic doctors are properly qualified to practice naturopathic medicine and that they follow the appropriate standards of practice.
Ontario’s new Naturopathy Act received final approval in June 2007 and came into full effect in 2015 following an extensive transition process. Naturopathic Doctors are now regulated under the Regulated Health Professions Act, joining all other regulated health professions in Ontario.
How do I confirm a naturopathic doctor’s qualifications?
Naturopathic doctors must be registered to practice in Ontario and to be accepted as a member of OAND. To verify that a naturopathic doctor is registered, call 416-866-8383 to reach the regulatory body for Ontario NDs, or 416-233-2001 to reach the OAND.
What is the training process to become a registered naturopathic doctor in Ontario?
Naturopathic medical training closely parallels that of medical doctors. Candidates are required to complete three years of pre-med post-secondary education before being accepted into an accredited four-year program at an approved college of naturopathic medicine. [link to page that lists schools]
The four-year program is comprised of over 4,500 hours of classroom training in basic medical science courses, clinical sciences and naturopathic therapies, as well as 1,500 hours of supervised clinical practicum. Graduates from an accredited naturopathic college receive the designation Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND).
Following the completion of their courses and training, NDs must successfully complete the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examinations (NPLEX) to become licensed in Ontario. NPLEX is the standard examination used by all regulated provinces and states across North America. A naturopathic doctor cannot practice in Ontario without completing the training and passing the exam.
NDs are also required to earn continuing education credits on an ongoing basis to maintain their registration and good standing with the regulatory body.
Are there any distance education courses I can take to become an ND?
No. Becoming a Naturopathic Doctor requires intensive, hands-on training comparable to that of a medical doctor. Correspondence courses cannot properly prepare students to practice as licensed doctors of Naturopathic Medicine.
*FAQ's provided by the OAND website