WHAT IS A NATUROPATHIC DOCTOR?
Naturopathic doctors (also known as NDs or naturopaths) provide health care to people of all ages. They focus on finding the root cause of illnesses and disease and use lifestyle changes and natural therapies to support and stimulate the body’s healing processes. They are trained as primary care providers and can assist patients in resolving acute and chronic illnesses, as well as focus on the prevention of disease. Treatment modalities include clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, Asian medicine and acupuncture, and lifestyle counseling.
Naturopathic doctors attend a comprehensive four-year program after completing an undergraduate university degree. There are two accredited naturopathic colleges in Canada and seven across North America. Naturopathic medical programs educate students in the same basic and diagnostic sciences as traditional medical education. Areas of study include anatomy, clinical physiology, biochemistry, pathology, embryology, immunology, pharmacology, and physical and clinical diagnosis. In addition to basic sciences, naturopathic students also study clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, and homeopathy. Students in an accredited naturopathic medical program complete over 4,100 hours of classroom training and over 1,200 supervised clinical hours. Prior to becoming licensed as a naturopathic doctor, graduates must pass two sets of provincial licensing exams. Once licensed, naturopathic doctors are required to earn continuing education credits to maintain their registration with their regulatory body.
Naturopathic doctors in Ontario are licensed by The College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO)
Naturopathic professional associations include the: Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors (OAND) and Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (CAND)
HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE
Naturopathic medicine is not covered by OHIP but is often covered by many extended health insurance plans. Typically insurance plans provide coverage for the cost of appointments but may not reimburse patients any blood work that is ordered, or supplements that are purchased as part of a treatment plan. Please consult your insurance provider to determine whether you have naturopathic coverage and what it entails.
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