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Naturopathic Doctors

1. How Are Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) Trained?

NDs take minimum of three years premedical studies at university, followed by four years at a recognized college of naturopathic medicine. This means a minimum of 7-8 years of university education, plus yearly continuing education to maintain the degree.

The education encompasses basic medical sciences, naturopathic principles and therapeutics, and 1500 hours of supervised clinical experience. There are five recognized schools of naturopathic medicine in North America:

  • The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (North York, ON)
  • Bastyr University (Kenmore, WA)
  • National College of Naturopathic Medicine (Portland, OR)
  • Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine (Tempe, AZ)
  • Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine (New Westminster, BC)

Graduates from these institutions receive a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND) degree or diploma.

In regulated (or licensed) provinces and states across North America, graduates must also pass rigorous standardized board exams to qualify for practice. In Canada, NDs are regulated in the provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, and Saskatchewan. Legislation is pending in Alberta and Nova Scotia.

2. What can I expect when I visit a Naturopathic Doctor?

The goal of the naturopathic doctor is to understand the patient and all the factors which impact on his/her health. The ND will take an in-depth patient history. In addition, the information from a physical exam and laboratory tests may assist in making an assessment and diagnosis.

A personal treatment plan will then be proposed to help facilitate your healing process.