Naturopathic doctors are trained similarly to conventional doctors in examination and diagnosis, but differ in their treatment approach and methods. There are 6 medical philosophies, which are incorporated into naturopathic training and practice:
First, do no harm.
Using the least invasive yet most effective, diagnostic and treatment methods wherever possible.
The healing power of nature
Using treatments derived from nature and science (diet and nutrition, botanical medicines, naturally sourced supplements) and the body’s own innate drive to heal in order to achieve health and wellness without side effects.
Identify and treat the cause
Researching and targeting the root cause of an illness, rather than merely masking its symptoms.
Heal the whole person
Understanding that each patient has a unique health story and that many aspects of one’s past and present health are often interconnected.
Physician as teacher
Educating patients about why they are being recommended a certain treatment course, and empowering them to take charge of their own health.
Getting well now, to ensure a long life without need for prescriptions, discomfort, or limitations on your mind and body.
In British Columbia, Naturopathic Doctors are considered primary care physicians; they are trained to complete standard medical intakes, perform physical examinations, and are able to order laboratory tests. Additionally, NDs in BC have recently received selected access to pharmaceutical prescribing rights, and are able to do so upon completion of further education and training.
How are ND’s trained?
To become licensed in British Columbia, Naturopathic Physicians require an undergraduate education in pre-medical sciences, followed by a 4-year doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine completed at one of 7 accredited naturopathic medical schools in North America. This encompasses 3500 hours of training in the basic medical sciences as well as nutrition and botanical medicine, in addition to a clinical internship of over 1500 hours. Physicians are also required to complete standardized board exams as well as practical clinical skills examinations.