The main difference is in the philosophy of health and in the therapies utilized. While conventional medical doctors generally focus on treating or suppressing the symptoms of a disease, Naturopathic doctors focus on treating the root cause of illness and the reason you are experiencing those symptoms in the first place. Naturopathic medicine approaches the treatment of disease from a “health building” perspective whereas conventional medicine approaches it from a “disease management” perspective. The World Health Organization’s definition of health actually synchronizes with the naturopathic philosophy which says “health is a state of complete, physical, mental and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
ND’s use therapies such as herbal medicine, clinical nutrition, lifestyle modification, ayurvedic medicine, homeopathy, therapeutic use of vitamins and minerals, physical medicine such as Bowen therapy, prolotherapy, neural therapy and musculoskeletal. We also use the modalities in out clinic.
Naturopaths are graduates of a 4 year doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine from and accredited Naturopathic medical school. The training includes more than 4500 hrs of classroom training and 1500 hrs of clinical experience. The prerequisite for admission to naturopathic medical school includes a minimum of 3 years of pre-medical sciences degree. The naturopathic doctor have to successfully pass NPLEX which is a standard examination used by all licensing jurisdictions for ND’s in North America.
In BC, naturopathic doctors are regulated by the College of Naturopathic Physicians of British Columbia. We are licensed by the provincial government as primary care physicians of complementary medicine. Naturopaths have to meet the Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits on an ongoing basis as required by the CNPBC.
Although naturopathic medicine was previously covered by MSP, as of 2003 MSP has limited the coverage for Naturopathic Medicine.
Most extended health care plans have naturopathic medical coverage. Including some well know companies such as Blue Cross, Great Western Life, and Sun Life. These extended health care plans are usually provided through your employer. Every person’s coverage is different in what they reimburse and what they don’t reimburse. To find out more about your coverage, just give your insurance company a call. Ask the following questions: do you have coverage for naturopathic medicine, what amount is covered per visit, is there a limit to the number of visits covered, what is the coverage amount per year, which other family member’s are covered and their coverage, do they reimburse supplements, do they reimburse lab tests, which lab tests do they reimburse?
Yes. Since the focus of Conventional medicine is symptom management, and the focus of naturopathic medicine is to treat the underlying cause of symptoms; the two can be used very effectively together. The naturopathic doctors are especially trained in understanding the interactions between your prescription and your natural medicines. We can therefore safely formulate treatment plans. However, our ultimate goal is promoting health and wellness–much more than symptom management.
Yes. Naturopathic medicine has its own unique body of knowledge, evolved and refined for centuries. It also incorporates scientific advances from medical disciplines throughout the world. Many of the individual therapies of naturopathic medical practice have been scientifically validated, especially in the areas of clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, immunology and hydrotherapy. The trend is that those naturopathic methods which are tested are validated. More detailed information is available from the AANP. The research departments of naturopathic medical colleges also conduct ongoing research, exploring experimental models appropriate to the eclectic and individualized approach of naturopathic practice. They have also produced state-of-the-art double-blind and placebo-controlled studies, published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Traditional medical practices are supported by centuries of empirical evidence and naturopathic treatments have been validated by modern scientific research. Typically, a patient’s treatment plan will consist of a combination of traditional and modern therapies.
We offer a better health experience that allows you to ask questions and voice your concerns; one that allows us to take the time to listen, understand and assess your health. During the appointment we’ll discuss the best options for your care. Initial appointments last approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour and will include a verbal interview to gather your pertinent history and any needed physical exam. We will also discuss the use of suitable diagnostic workup including blood testing and explain our assessment and treatment plan. Natural medications and lifestyle modifications will be prescribed as a part of the treatment plan. It would be helpful if you bring a copy of recent test results to your appointment since they can be used to in your assessment and treatment plan.
No. Naturopathic doctors are primary health care providers. You may directly contact us and book an appointment.
There are three major differences. The first is training. The second is regulation. The third is treatment.
In regard to training, naturopathic doctors are generalists in alternative medicine. They receive at least 3-years pre-medical training at university, then 4-years at an accredited naturopathic college. They are primary care physicians using a variety of therapies and modalities according to each patient’s need.
In BC and many other provinces and US states naturopathic medicine is regulated just as MDs, nurses, chiropractors and other health professionals are licensed and regulated. At present, homeopathy is not a licensed or regulated health profession in BC. In one sense, only NDs are licensed to practice homeopathy.
Another difference is treatment. A homeopath would only prescribe a homeopathic medicine. An ND may use botanical medicine, homeopathic medicine, physical medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, or any combination to treat a patient.
No. Contrary to popular belief, naturopathic doctors are not always opposed to invasive or suppressive measures when these methods are necessary. Referrals for such treatment may be required when appropriate. But you should know that you have options for better health care since naturopathic medicine can offer some alternatives.
It is important for health providers to work together for the patient to receive the best care. Therefore, we can work with your doctor to provide better care to you; this includes but is not limited to assessment, diagnosis and treatment plans.
Holistic medicine aims to treat the whole person by considering not only the physical, mental, emotional but also the spiritual, social, environmental and cultural aspects of a person’s health when providing care. In other words the whole is more than just the sum of its parts.