From 1925 until 2015, Ontario’s Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) were regulated under the Drugless Practitioners Act. In recent years, the focus of mainstream healthcare has shifted toward wellness and prevention. In line with this shift, and recognizing the invaluable role NDs play as primary health care practitioners, naturopathic medicine got its own piece of legislation in 2015. On July 1st, 2015, the Naturopathy Act 2007 was proclaimed and NDs became regulated under the Regulated Health Professions Act. Naturopathic Doctors are regulated by the College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO), an arm’s length body of the government of Ontario with an independent Registrar and Council. CONO’s main responsibility is to regulate the profession of Naturopathic Medicine in the public interest.
Naturopathic Doctors practicing in Ontario have completed a minimum of seven years of post-secondary education and rigorous entry-to-practice exams, prior to registration as a Naturopathic Doctor in Ontario. Education includes a minimum of three years of undergraduate coursework, and a four-year, accredited, naturopathic medical education. Graduates must pass two sets of provincial licensing board exams and are required to maintain their competency throughout their career by completing at least 70 hours of accredited continuing medical education courses every three years, in order to keep their current registration in good order.
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.
NDs collaborate closely with other healthcare professionals through consultation and referral.