What is a Naturopathic Doctor?

Naturopathic doctors are primary care providers. They assist patients in resolving acute and chronic illnesses, and also focus on the prevention of disease. Naturopathic doctors are trained to recognize emergent situations and refer out when necessary. Naturopathic medicine focuses on finding the root cause of disease and promotes healing through natural therapies. Treatment modalities include clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, asian medicine and acupuncture, and lifestyle counseling.

Naturopathic Education:

Naturopathic doctors attend a comprehensive four-year program after completing an undergraduate university degree. There are two accredited naturopathic colleges in Canada and seven across North America. Naturopathic medical programs educate students in the same basic and diagnostic sciences as traditional medical education. Areas of study include anatomy, clinical physiology, biochemistry, pathology, embryology, immunology, pharmacology, and physical and clinical diagnosis. In addition to basic sciences, naturopathic students also study clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, asian medicine and acupuncture, and homeopathy. Students in an accredited naturopathic medical program complete over 4,100 hours of classroom training and over 1,200 supervised clinical hours. Prior to becoming licensed as a naturopathic doctor, graduates must pass two sets of provincial licensing exams. Once licensed, naturopathic doctors are required to earn continuing education credits to maintain their registration with their regulatory body.

Health Insurance Coverage:

Naturopathic medicine is not covered by OHIP but is covered by many extended health insurance plans. Typically insurance plans provide coverage for the cost of appointments but do not reimburse patients any blood work that is ordered, or supplements that are purchased as part of a treatment plan. Please consult your insurance provider to determine whether you have naturopathic coverage.

Licensing and Professional Associations:

Naturopathic doctors in Ontario are licensed by The College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO)

Naturopathic professional associations include the:
  • Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors (OAND)
  • Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (CAND)

    On your journey to better health