Frequently asked questions
What type of training to Naturopathic Doctors receive?
Naturopathic doctors go through extensive medical training and examination before they are legally allowed to practice. They require a Bachelor of Science degree or a minimum of three years of university education in pre-medical sciences to gain admittance into a Naturopathic medical school. The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine is Canada’s leading accredited school for the Naturopathic medical program. The program is four years duration and includes a one year intensive clinical rotation. Midway through the program, and upon graduation from any of the colleges, two sets of NPLEX licensing examinations (coordinated by the North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners (NABNE)) as well as Provincial Ontario Board examinations must be successfully completed before Naturopathic Doctors are allowed to practice on Ontario.
In Ontario, Naturopathic Doctors are licensed through the College of Naturopaths of Ontario. They are regulated under the Regulated Health Professionals Act.
Is Naturopathic Medicine covered by OHIP?
No. However, many extended healthcare plans cover Naturopathic treatment. Check with your health insurance company to see if you are covered. When you come for a visit, simply pay for the visit, and then submit the receipt to your insurance company for re-imbursement.
What should I expect on my first visit?
Your first visit is between 1-1½ hours long. This amount of time is needed to gather all the necessary information to understand the nature of your health concern, as well as all the factors in your life that contribute to your health and wellbeing. This is important because no single condition is separate from the rest of the body. Treating a disease goes hand in hand with improving the health of the body as a whole.
A detailed charting of your chief complaint is done, as well as a thorough medical history, a brief physical examination (if required), and a review of your diet. Other factors that affect your health are also reviewed, such as the quality of your sleep, your energy level, your digestion, your emotional health, etc.
Based on all this information, an appropriate course of treatment will be recommended. In more complicated cases, short term and long term health goals will be set, and a plan to achieve them implemented. The goals and plans will be agreed upon by both you and your doctor to encourage a co-operative framework for improving your health.
Subsequent visits will be shorter in duration, usually 30 minutes, and their frequency depends on each individual case.
What’s the difference between naturopathic medicine and homeopathy?
Naturopathic Doctors are trained in conventional medical sciences as well as other complimentary and alternative treatments. Naturopathic medicine is an umbrella term for doctors that practice many different treatments, called modalities. These modalities include herbal or botanical medicine, Asian medicine (including acupuncture and herbs), clinical nutrition, vitamin supplementation, lifestyle counseling and homeopathy. A Naturopathic Doctor requires an undergraduate degree, four years of Naturopathic medical school, and is regulated to practice in the province of Ontario.
A homeopath, on the other hand, is trained to use strictly one modality, which is homeopathic remedies, and does not need an undergraduate degree to study homeopathy.
Do naturopathic doctors cross refer to other practitioners?
Yes. It is becoming more common that Naturopathic Doctors, Medical Doctors, Chiropractors, Massage Therapists, and other health care professionals to cross refer for a coordinated and complete health care plan.
You do not need a referral to see a Naturopathic Doctor.