Naturopathic medicine is distinct primary health care system, which blends modern scientific knowledge with traditional wisdom and natural forms of medicine.
Naturopathic medicine offers effective treatments for both acute and chronic conditions. From pediatric to geriatric, from new symptoms to chronic illness and from the physical to the psychological. It is the approach, philosophy and training of naturopathic doctors that sets it apart from other forms of health care.
Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) take a holistic approach to treatment and a complete thorough assessment of each individual case. Understanding the organ systems and how they influence and affect one another is the foundation of how we practice medicine. Our philosophy is to stimulate the healing power of the body. We do not just treat the presenting symptom; we search for the cause and perform comprehensive evaluation in order to deliver the best patient care. This often requires us to
requisition additional laboratory testing.
At the Ottawa Center of Naturopathic Medicine, once we establish the root cause of symptoms, we utilize a host of therapies based on the individual patient’s physiological, structural, psychological, social, environmental and lifestyle factors. Our therapies include acupuncture, botanical medicine, nutrition, diet and lifestyle counselling, manual therapy and supplementation to support your body as it begins to heal and recover.
How are Naturopathic Doctors trained?
Naturopathic doctors are licensed healthcare providers who are specialists in the natural treatment and prevention of disease. They attend four-year graduate schools that are nationally accredited by the Council for Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME). The ND degree is classified as a Doctorate-Professional degree, on par with MD and DO. The Council on Naturopathic Medical Education is the authority for establishing and maintaining the educational standards for the naturopathic profession and accredits the naturopathic colleges in Canada and the United States recognized by the licensing and regulatory boards in the provinces and states. Students and graduates of programs accredited by the CNME are eligible to apply for the naturopathic licensing examinations administered by the North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners (NABNE). Currently 6 schools in the US and Canada are accredited through the CNME to provide naturopathic medical education. https://www.aanmc.org/
Licensed NDs will have completed a minimum 4 year undergraduate degree prior to the 4 years of rigorous training and practicum at an accredited North American institution for naturopathic medicine. The program includes more than 1,200 hours of clinical experience and involves more than 3,000 hours of classroom training.
The three major areas of study in the program are:
NDs are regulated by the College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO) and have successfully completed two rigorous standardized North American board examinations. In order to be an active member in good standing with CONO, a Naturopathic Doctor must have malpractice insurance, maintain current CPR-HCP, and complete a number of continuing education hours to keep up with medical and naturopathic advancements.
The main difference in education between a naturopathic doctor (ND) and a medical doctor (MD) is in the area of specialization. Naturopathic doctors are specialists in the natural treatment of primary care conditions. While MD students do rotations in specialty fields in their 3rd and 4th years (like Ophthalmology, Obstetrics, Surgery, etc), ND students do clinical work in naturopathic primary care, learning extensive training in medical herbs, manipulation techniques, nutrition, and vitamin/mineral supplementation.
Because naturopathic doctors are educated in the standards of primary care and gold standard diagnostics with a wide range of natural therapies to augment care, they have become an integral part of health care teams. The best care is effective collaboration between your family physician, specialists, and other healthcare providers.
Naturopathic Doctor's Oath
I dedicate myself to the service of humanity as a practitioner of the art and science of naturopathic medicine. By precept, education, and example, I will assist and encourage others to strengthen their health, reduce risks for disease, and preserve the health of our planet for ourselves and future generations. I will continually endeavor to improve my abilities. I will conduct my life and practice of naturopathic medicine with integrity and freedom from prejudice. I will keep confident about what should not be divulged. I will honor the principles of naturopathic medicine:
With my whole heart, before these witnesses, as a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, I pledge to remain true to this oath.
Naturopathic Doctors focus on patient-centered, preventative care and efficient knowledge transfer to empower patients to take control of their own health. This augments with the conventional healthcare system, allowing everyone to get the best possible care. - Dr. Vincent Lun, ND FIBFN