Naturopathic doctors offer care for a wide variety of health concerns, for people of all ages and stages of life.
You might visit your naturopath to consult about:
Naturopathic Doctors are required to have a minimum of 3 years pre-medical postsecondary education and four years at an approved Naturopathic College. College includes 4500 hours of classroom time in clinical studies, medical sciences and naturopathic therapies as well as 1500 hours of supervised clinical experience.
Graduates are required to pass provincial and North American-wide naturopathic licensing exams (NPLEX) in order to register in Ontario.
Naturopathic Doctors are also required to take ongoing continuing education credits in order to maintain their license.
Yes. The profession of naturopathic medicine has been regulated in Ontario since 1925. On July 1, 2015, proclamation of the Naturopathy Act brought the profession into the same legislative structure as other regulated health professions in Ontario. The provincial regulatory authority is the College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO).
Homeopaths are trained to practice only in homeopathy. They prescribe homeopathic remedies, which are highly diluted substances usually derived from plants and minerals (please see Homeopathy” for a more extensive description).
Naturopathic doctors are general practitioners of natural medicine. They have training in medical sciences, nutrition, herbal medicine, Chinese medicine (including acupuncture), physical medicine, lifestyle counseling and homeopathy. A naturopathic doctor will use any or all of these treatments, including homeopathy, to address your health concerns.
Both naturopathic medicine and homeopathy are regulated and licensed disciplines in Ontario, under the Regulated Health Professions Act.
Evidence-based medicine is an approach to decision making in health care that incorporates scientific evidence, the practitioner’s clinical judgement and the patient’s values, all weighted equally. This ensures that the clinician’s opinion is supplemented by all available knowledge from the scientific literature. It also identifies the importance of the patient’s rights and preferences for each treatment decision.
As a regulated profession under the Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA), 1991, naturopathic medicine in Ontario embraces the term “evidence-based medicine” (see OAND description of naturopathic medicine)
The term “pseudo-science” is defined as a “claim, belief or practice presented as scientific but that does not adhere to the scientific method”. It has been used as a derogatory term in the media to refer to some natural health methods.
Naturopathic doctors have a strong science-based academic background. They are trained in scientific research methods and incorporate the latest research findings into their treatment recommendations. The claim that naturopathic medicine is a pseudo-science is based on misinformation about the training and treatment approach of naturopathic doctors.
No. Vaccinations are outside the scope of naturopathic practice. Patients who wish to pursue vaccinations should consult with a member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario or the College of Nurses of Ontario.
Individual patient choice, including the right to decline treatment, is a fundamental part of Ontario’s health care system. Naturopathic doctors support the patient’s right to choose whether or not to be vaccinated. They encourage their patients to be active participants in their own health care, and to make fully informed decisions.
The patient’s decision will not have any impact on their naturopathic doctor-patient relationship.
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