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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. The CONO is the regulatory body that registers naturopathic doctors to practice in Ontario.

I have some questions

What is a naturopathic medicine?

Naturopathic medicine is a distinct system of primary care that addresses the root cause of illness or disease and promotes health and healing using natural therapies. Treatment modalities include clinical nutrition, herbal medicine, physical therapies, acupuncture and Asian medicine, lab testing, exercise and lifestyle counselling.

The primary goal of naturopathic treatment is to address the cause of the illness rather than simply treating or suppressing symptoms. While naturopathic care helps to alleviate specific symptoms, NDs are primarily concerned with addressing the root cause of an illness: the focus is more on the why of a disease than the what.

What is a naturopathic doctor?

Naturopathic doctors are highly educated primary care providers who integrate standard medical diagnostics with a broad range of natural therapies.

How do I pay for a visit to a naturopathic doctor?

Visits to an ND are currently NOT covered by OHIP. Most extended health care plans do cover the cost of seeing an ND. It’s important to check with your extended health care provider to determine the amount of your naturopathic coverage.

What is the coverage for Public Servants?

80% of each visit up to $300 per calendar year. Minus deductible of $60 for individuals or $100 per family.

Do naturopathic doctors have specialties?

NDs may have ‘special interests’ in health conditions in which the ND has had extensive treatment experience or holds keen interest, or a modality used preferentially with a high degree of success. My focus is in active living and sports medicine as well as having a general practice ranging from anxiety to weight loss.

Does Dr Andréa Proulx ND, have any special area of focus?

I see a variety of patients in my practice with a variety of health concerns. However, I do have a special interest in sports medicine & sports nutrition – this includes active living. Part of getting my clients to optimal performance – in sport, fitness and in life -means addressing digestion; liver and detox; hormonal issues; pain concerns; neurological involvement; mental health including stress, anxiety and depression; as well as environmental issues.

Can naturopathic doctors treat                ?

Yes. NDs are primary health care practitioners, which means that they can treat the same conditions as a family doctor, including both acute concerns and chronic health conditions. In the event that an ND is unable to treat your condition, they will refer appropriately.

Are naturopathic doctors regulated in Ontario?

Naturopathic doctors are the only regulated health professionals in the field of natural medicine in Ontario. Naturopathic doctors are regulated in Ontario under the 1925 Drugless Therapy Act and are registered (licensed) by the College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO). CONO functions to ensure that naturopathic doctors are properly qualified to practice naturopathic medicine and that they follow the appropriate standards of practice.

The Naturopathy Act of 2007 moved the regulation of naturopathic doctors under the Regulated Health Professions Act, joining all other regulated health professions. The Naturopathy Act also confirms the current scope of NDs as primary care practitioners who are able to provide diagnoses and have access to key controlled acts.

Naturopathic doctors are also regulated in Canada in many provinces – except Québec.

What is the training of an ND?

NDs obtain comprehensive and rigorous training in an educational structure similar to that of medical doctors. NDs require three years of pre-med postsecondary education, plus four years of fulltime study at an approved college of naturopathic medicine.  Dr Proulx completed her education at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto.

The four year program incorporates over 4,500 hours of classroom training in basic medical science courses, clinical sciences and naturopathic therapies, as well as 1500 hours of supervised clinical experience.

Graduates from an accredited naturopathic college receive a degree in naturopathic medicine.

Following the completion of their program, NDs must successfully complete the 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.

NDs are also required to earn continuing education credits on an ongoing basis to maintain their registration and good standing with the regulatory body; the College of Naturopaths of Ontario.

Where can I learn more about naturopathic medicine?

Are there any distance education coursesI can take to become an ND?

No. As outlined in the educational requirements above, becoming a naturopathic doctor requires intensive and rigorous training comparable to that of medical doctors. Although correspondence courses can be effective in many disciplines, they are not adequate for preparing students to practice as licensed doctors of naturopathic medicine.

What can I expect from my first visit to a naturopathic doctor?

Your first visit will be 90 minutes in length. That may sound like a long time, but we have lots to cover!

A very extensive patient history in order to get information about your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health is taken and a complaint-oriented physical exam performed. Included in your first visit is a screening blood test and urinalysis. Further specialized lab testing may be requested.

With your input, I will propose a personalized treatment plan to help you achieve your health goals.

For more info on what to expect and how to prepare for your first visit, see Your First Appointment.

What is the difference between naturopathic medicine and homeopathy?

Naturopathic doctors (NDs) are general practitioners of natural medicine. They are trained to treat ailments using clinical nutrition, acupuncture, botanical medicine, physical medicine, lifestyle counselling and homeopathy.

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.

In addition, homeopathy is not a regulated or licensed health profession in Ontario. Naturopathic medicine is regulated and licensed in Ontario.

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