NDs are primary healthcare practitioners, and can treat the same conditions as a family doctor, including acute concerns and chronic health conditions. In the event that an ND is unable to treat your condition, he or she will consult or refer appropriately.
Not really, although some NDs do take a special interest in particular health conditions or treatment modalities. Currently, there are no specialist-level educational programs offered by naturopathic colleges. However, in addition to maintaining their continuing education requirements, many NDs pursue extended training in a particular area, such as environmental medicine, infusion therapy, or cancer care. This is not considered specialization, however, because naturopathic medicine is always holistic and patient-centred.
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.
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 NDs are trained to use. Homeopaths are trained solely in homeopathy and do not use other treatment methods.
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