Training in naturopathic medicine requires a minimum of seven years of post-secondary education from a recognized school before being allowed to register as a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) in Ontario. She or he must have an undergraduate degree, have completed premedical undergraduate coursework, and have completed a four-year, accredited, naturopathic medical education. Graduates must pass two sets of provincial licensing board exams and are required to keep their registration current throughout their career by completing at least 70 hours every three years of approved continuing education.
Naturopathic education encompasses basic and diagnostic sciences – including anatomy, clinical physiology, biochemistry, pathology, embryology, immunology, pharmacology, physical and clinical diagnosis, and lab diagnosis – as well as conventional and naturopathic approaches to improving and maintaining patients’ health.
Training and Disciplines
The Doctor of Naturopathy degree program provides more than 3,000 hours of classroom training and 1,200 hours of clinical experience. Naturopathic Doctors receive extensive training in a variety of disciplines, including the following:
Clinical Nutrition – Involves managing the amount of nutrients (i.e. protein, vitamins, and minerals) in a patient’s diet to create a healthy energy balance.
Acupuncture – A healing methodology that treats patients by manipulating thin, solid needles that have been inserted into the skin.
Botanical Medicine – The study and use of medicinal properties of plants.
Asian Medicine – A broad range of medicinal practices sharing traditional concepts developed in China, including various forms of acupuncture, herbal medicine, massage (Tui na), exercise, and dietary therapy.
Physical Medicine – May include massage therapy or manipulative therapy.
Homeopathy – A form of alternative medicine based on the idea that a substance that causes the symptoms of an illness in healthy people can help improve that illness in sick people.
Lifestyle Counselling – Providing support and enabling patients to make healthy choices in order to build and maintain health on all levels: mental, physical, social, and spiritual.
What to expect during a visit with a Naturopathic Doctor
The first visit with a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) may be one hour or more. Your Naturopathic Doctor will take an extensive patient history eliciting information about your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health before performing a complaint-oriented physical exam. If required, your ND may then suggest further specialized testing. developing a personalized treatment plan to help you achieve your health goals.
The Naturopathy Act, 2007 was proclaimed in July of 2015. and Ontario NDs became licensed under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991.