FAQ

How are Naturopathic Doctors Trained?
What is the difference between Naturopathy and Homeopathy?
What can I expect from my first visit with a Naturopathic Doctor at your clinic?
Are Naturopathic Doctors regulated in Ontario?
How can I tell if someone is qualified as a Naturopathic Doctor?
Is naturopathic medicine covered by OHIP?
Are there Naturopathic Doctors who are also Medical Doctors?
Are Naturopathic therapies scientific?
Do Naturopathic Doctors ever work with Medical Doctors?

 

How are Naturopathic Doctors Trained?

IMG_5402Naturopathic doctors obtain comprehensive and rigorous training in an educational structure similar to that of allopathic medical doctors. Naturopathic doctors require a minimum of 3 years pre-med undergraduate education, plus 4 years of full-time study at an accredited college of naturopathic medicine.

The four-year program incorporates basic medical science courses, clinical sciences and naturopathic therapies, as well as problem-based approaches to health issues, and 1500 hours of supervised clinical experience.

Following the completion of their program, NDs must successfully complete Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examinations (NPLEX) in order to qualify for licensing in Ontario. NPLEX is the standard examination used by all regulated provinces and states across North America.

Anyone seeing an ND should expect to be dealing with a highly trained professional, one who has met comprehensive standards in order to practice.  As regulated professionals, NDs are accountable for their conduce and practice.

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What is the difference between Naturopathy and Homeopathy?

Homeopathy is only one of the “modalities” or forms of treatment that a Naturopathic Doctor is trained in. Naturopathic Medicine is the art of using clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathic medicine, traditional Chinese medicine (includes herbs and acupuncture), physical therapies (includes hydrotherapy, massage therapy etc) and counselling together with medical science to create a unique treatment plan for each individual patient. Homeopaths, on the other hand, are trained to practice in ONE discipline – homeopathy. So while a homeopath would prescribe a homeopathic therapy, a naturopathic doctor would use any of the approaches listed above, including homeopathy, in their treatments.

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What can I expect from my first visit with a Naturopathic Doctor at your clinic?

IMG_5404A detailed intake form is mailed to and filled out by the patient before the first visit. The initial visit is usually an 75-90 minutes and includes a detailed history taking and a screening physical exam. With the information that is obtained in the first visit, an individual treatment plan is created and expanded on in the second visit. The second visit is usually 45-60 minutes.  Subsequent or “follow-up” visits are scheduled as individually required and are usually 30 minutes unless the patient requests more time.

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Are Naturopathic Doctors regulated in Ontario?

Naturopathic Medicine has been a regulated health profession in Ontario since 1925 under the Drugless Practitioners Act. With proclamation of the Naturopathy Act, 2007  on July 1, 2015, Naturopathic Doctors become a self- regulated healthcare profession under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991 (RHPA); similar to other health care professions such as physicians, chiropractors, pharmacists and dentists.

As the regulatory body for the profession, the College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO) supports the public’s right to safe, competent and ethical naturopathic care. The College does this by setting requirements to enter the profession, establishing comprehensive standards, and administering quality assurance programs. Acting in the public interest, the College holds Ontario’s regulated Naturopaths accountable for their conduct and practice.

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How can I tell if someone is qualified as a Naturopathic Doctor?

In Ontario, the public can call the College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO) at 416.583.6010 to verify that a naturopathic doctor is registered to practice in the province. CONO is the regulatory body that registers naturopathic doctors to practice in Ontario.

In addition, the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors only accepts registered naturopathic doctors as members and can also be contacted to verify if an ND is licensed. The OAND can be reached at 416-233-2001 or info@oand.org.

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Is naturopathic medicine covered by OHIP?

At this time, the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) does not cover naturopathic services. However, most employment insurance providers have naturopathic medicine coverage in their extended health care packages. Insured patients can contact their employer or individual insurance agents to see if they are covered. If not, such coverage can often be included at nominal rates.

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Are there Naturopathic Doctors who are also Medical Doctors?

There are no naturopathic doctors in Ontario who are licensed medical doctors. There are a number of naturopathic doctors in Ontario that trained and practiced as medical doctors outside of Canada, and whom decided to train and practice as naturopathic doctors in Canada. These individuals are not licensed as medical doctors in Canada and thus are not covered by OHIP and do not prescribe pharmaceuticals outside of the scope of a naturopathic doctor.

Undoubtedly there are medical doctors that have an interest in providing advice on natural therapies. However, these doctors would not be considered naturopathic doctors and do not have the specialized training in each and all of the disciplines of naturopathic medicine.

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Are Naturopathic therapies scientific?

Many naturopathic therapies have developed out of a rich history of use and are now being validated by scientific research. For example, many herbs have been used effectively for centuries by varying indigenous civilizations. Research over the past few years have supported the use of such therapeutics as Echinacea and St. John’s Wort. The same can be said of acupuncture, homeopathy, and certainly of whole nutrition. As the demand for naturopathic medicine increases, so does the scrutiny of naturopathic therapies. The naturopathic profession supports research into the efficacy of these therapies. For example, the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine is currently involved in many studies, many of them in collaboration with other medical and naturopathic institutions.

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Do Naturopathic Doctors ever work with Medical Doctors?

Naturopathic Doctors do work with Medical Doctors. Whether the ND works in an independently run clinic, or in a multidisciplinary clinic with medical doctors on site, there is often an interaction or collaboration that NDs encourage among the patient’s other health care professionals. For example, an ND may obtain permission from their patient to interact with, and request information from, their family physicians and or medical specialists. This way, all the primary health care practitioners are informed of the patient’s choices, can learn about alternative/supplementary approaches, and respect each professional’s role in the patient’s whole health care.

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Markham Village Naturopathic Clinic
258 Main St N.
Markham ON L3P 1Y7
(905) 201-6497
info@markhamnaturopaths.ca

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