Naturopathic Training and Regulation
HOW ARE NATUROPATHIC DOCTORS TRAINED?
To obtain a Naturopathic medical credential (ND) students must have:
- Prerequisites including three years of pre-medical sciences at a University with a cumulative grade point average 3.00 on a four point scale. Prerequisite courses include biology, biochemistry, chemistry, organic chemistry, introductory psychology and humanities.
- Successfully complete a 4-year-full time program in an accredited school of Naturopathic medicine that includes more than 4,500 hours of classroom training and 1,500 hours of supervised clinical experience.
- Naturopathic doctors undergo training similar to medical doctors, along with training in naturopathic disciplines.
The four areas of training in the curriculum are:
- Basic Sciences - This area of study includes anatomy, physiology, histology, microbiology, biochemistry, immunology, pharmacology and pathology.
- Clinical Disciplines - This area of study includes physical and clinical diagnosis, differential and laboratory diagnosis, radiology, orthopaedics, naturopathic assessment, primary care, pediatrics, women's health and obstetrics, and men's health.
- Naturopathic Disciplines - As noted above, there are six major disciplines that define the areas of naturopathic practice. Each discipline is a distinct area of practice and includes both diagnostic principles and practices as well as therapeutic skills and techniques.
- Clinical Experience - All students must complete 1,500 hours of clinical requirements and demonstrate proficiency in all aspects of Naturopathic medicine prior to graduation.
To be able to practice students must pass:
- NPLEX exams that are written after the 2nd year and 4th year of study. NPLEX is the standard examination used by all licensing jurisdictions for Naturopathic doctors in North America.
- Provincial Board exams
- Lastly, NDs are required to register with their regulatory Board.
Note: Much of the above information was provided by the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors. For more information on the Naturopathic medicine visit www.cand.ca.
HOW ARE NATUROPATHIC DOCTORS REGULATED?
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 Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy-Naturopathy (BDDT-N). The BDDT-N functions to ensure that Naturopathic Doctors are properly qualified to practice Naturopathic Medicine and that they follow the appropriate standards of practice.
Ontario’s new Naturopathy Act received final approval in June 2007 and will come into full effect following an extensive transition process. The Naturopathy Act will move 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.
Note: The above information was provided by the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors. For more information on the Naturopathic medicine visit www.oand.org.