Naturopathic medicine is a distinct primary health care system that blends modern scientific knowledge with traditional and natural forms of medicine. It bridges the gap between what is known as modern medicine and what is considered alterative medicine. The naturopathic philosophy is to support the innate healing power of the body and treat the underlying or root cause of disease or illness, for both acute and chronic concerns. Naturopathic treatments are as individual as the patients, and are based on their physiological, structural, psychological, social, spiritual, environment and lifestyle factors.
In addition to diet and lifestyle changes, natural therapies including botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, traditional Asian medicine and acupuncture and, homeopathy may also be used during treatments.
Naturopathic medicine plays an important role in integrative health care. Therapies can be used on their own or in conjunction with conventional medical treatments.
Naturopathic Doctor Education
Naturopathic Doctors must have an undergraduate degree with pre-requisite courses in biology, biochemistry, chemistry, organic chemistry, introductory psychology and humanities, before applying to Naturopathic Medicine School. The Naturopathic Medicine training is a rigorous 4 year-full time program, including more than 4,500 hours of classroom training and 1,500 hours of supervised clinical experience. The first two years follow a standard medical school curriculum, branching thereafter into naturopathic disciplines.
Two sets of North American standardized Naturopathic Medicine board exams must be written and passed, one after 2nd year and one after completion of the 4th year of study. To retain licensing, NDs must complete yearly continuing education courses and seminars, as required by their professional association.