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F.A.Q.

What type of training do Naturopathic Doctors have?

After completing a minimum of three years of university perquisites, Naturopathic Doctors complete four years of training. Naturopathic programs include basic and clinical medical sciences as well as out‐ patient clinical training under the supervision of regulated naturopathic doctors. NDs study the same basic medical and clinical sciences as other healthcare professionals, such as MDs, DCs, DDSs and RNs. These sciences lay the foundation for detailed history, intake, physical and laboratory diagnosis. This leads to proficiency in assessment, diagnosis, treatment and follow‐up evaluation with additional emphasis on prevention and wellness through traditional treatment methods such as botanical medicine, acupuncture, homeopathy, and nutrition. In order to practice in Ontario, NDs must successfully complete rigorous North American board examinations.

What does it mean when a Naturopathic Doctor is a member of the BDDT-N?

To be a member of the Board of Directors Drugless Therapy-Naturopathy, a Naturopathic Doctor has graduated from an approved, four‐ year naturopathic medicine college and has completed all the provincial requirements, including the postdoctoral board examinations (NPLEX). Every Naturopathic Doctor has a registration number and with such, services received from NDs are recognized by many extended healthcare plans.  It is true, that some practitioners in Ontario who are not eligible to join the college do call themselves “naturopaths” and this is illegal. Often these people have completed correspondence courses or have received minimal formal education and lack clinical training. The BDDT-N will be working to protect the public, ensuring a high standard of care for all Ontarians.

Who uses Naturopathic Medicine?

A 2011 Ontario study found that 20% of people residing in the greater Toronto area have already seen a Naturopathic Doctor for treatment and this number continues to grow as 4‐in‐10 Ontarians said they are likely see an ND in the next year.

Do Naturopathic Doctors work with Medical Doctors?

Naturopathic Doctors often work with conventional laboratory testing and diagnosis to create an individualized treatment plan. NDs often work with a patient’s medical doctor to ensure that a proper diagnosis has been reached or to determine if further testing or treatment is needed. Naturopathic Doctors are trained to look at laboratory values not only for the absence of disease, but from a preventative and wellness perspective. Because many of the therapies used by NDs are natural and nontoxic, they often do not interfere with conventional treatments that might have already been started. As knowledge and understanding of naturopathic medicine increases, we are seeing more allopathic doctors (MDs) referring to naturopathic doctors.

Do Naturopathic Doctors give referrals?

Ontario NDs refer patients to many different healthcare providers when appropriate including; family physicians, osteopathic doctors, physiotherapists, psychologists, chiropractors and massage therapists.

Can my Naturopathic Doctor order lab tests?

Currently, NDs have been using private laboratory services to provide a full range of testing including; blood, saliva and urine as well as for PAP smears. At this time we are not able to request ultrasound, x‐ ray or other imaging diagnostics but can interpret them and often ask patients to request their MD’s to refer them for these procedures when appropriate.

Do Naturopathic Doctors prescribe medication?

Under our current regulations in Ontario, Naturopathic Doctors do not prescribe any medications. NDs in British Columbia and in the U.S. do have some prescription privileges.

Are Naturopathic Doctors the same as homeopaths?

Naturopathic Doctors are trained in homeopathy as part of the many therapeutic modalities that we can use.  Naturopathic Doctors have more extensive training than homeopaths in lab diagnosis and physical exams and are trained to use other modalities including botanical medicine,  acupuncture, hydrotherapy, nutrition, and orthomolecular medicine.

Is naturopathic medicine proven by science?

Many naturopathic treatments have been researched and been proven safe and effective for numerous conditions. Recently, the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine has conducted studies with Canada Post to measure the effectiveness of natural modalities for treating back pain, rotator cuff tendonitis, anxiety and for the prevention of cardiovascular disease amongst its employees. There are also numerous randomized control trials and evidence‐based studies in the literature that have shown the efficacy of the approaches and modalities used in naturopathic medicine. Scientific examination of naturopathic methods is important, helping to bring clarity and refinement to the traditional and historical use of various therapies.

Why spend money on preventative healthcare?

While it may seem like an extra expense to seek preventative healthcare, learning to adopt a healthy diet and lifestyle and discovering issues before they lead to disease, can save thousands of dollars in out‐of‐pocket expenses later on. Screening and early detection of disease are not enough and Naturopathic Doctors are able to help recognize the primary causes and then develop dietary and lifestyle protocols to help correct deficiencies before they become an issue. By empowering patients to lead healthy lives Naturopathic Doctors will significantly decrease the cost of treating illness in the future.

Is Naturopathic Medicine merely a trend in medicine?

With over 1600 Naturopathic Doctors practicing across Canada, there is growing awareness and acceptance of what naturopathic medicine can accomplish. With new research and new treatment techniques and therapies being developed, naturopathic medicine is poised to thrive in the twenty‐first century.

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