Naturopathic doctors are registered and licensed health care professionals.
A Naturopathic doctor’s training consists of a minimum three year science based pre-medical program, followed by a four year doctorate degree from an accredited Naturopathic Medical College.
Naturopathic doctors are required to complete 2 years of clinical experience and then pass extensive board exams before being granted a license to practice.
They are regulated by a provincial and national association and are required to complete continuing education hours yearly to ensure they remain current.
Naturopathic doctors are competent in evaluating standard medical blood work and diagnostic tests and although they do not use pharmaceuticals in their practice, they are trained in how pharmaceuticals function and what the side effects are.
What About My Medical Doctor?
Medical doctors are an important component of an individual’s health care program. They are an important part of the healthcare puzzle but not the only piece. The reality is that no one area of medicine has all the answers. Healthcare needs to be an integrated process of a number of different professionals to ensure you are receiving the best care possible.
The MD’s approach is targeted on disease diagnosis, emergency medicine, and medicating the symptom. Although this is valuable and provides initial relief, it doesn’t address why the symptoms appeared in the first place.
Naturopathic doctors look further than symptom palliation. Although treating the symptoms is important, the cause of the problem must be identified and addressed to return the body to optimal functioning.
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What Can I Expect With My Initial Visit?
Your initial assessment consists of an in depth interview process where information such as current and prior health concerns, diet, stress, lifestyle, exercise, past illness, and environmental exposure are all integrated to identify the cause of the current symptoms being presented.
Following this the patient will undergo a quick physical exam (without an internal) followed by additional testing to detect underlying causes and imbalances. The patient is then educated as to what is causing the imbalance and what is required to bring them back to a state of health.
The patient’s understanding and compliance are the most important components in the healing process; therefore, the visits are designed to create an atmosphere of trust and interaction to ensure the patient fully reaches their optimum potential.
What Else Should I Know?
Naturopathic Medicine is a distinctively natural approach to health and healing that recognizes the integrity of the whole person. The practice of Naturopathic Medicine emerges from six underlying principles of healing. It is these principles that distinguish the profession from other medical approaches.