Frequently Asked Questions
Currently, in order to obtain licensure in Ontario, NDs must graduate from an accredited naturopathic medical institution. There are two accredited colleges in Canada (The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine & Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine) and five in the United States. In Canada, NDs are also regulated in the provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Naturopathic Doctors undergo training similar to medical doctors, in addition to education in the naturopathic treatment modalities. The four areas of training in the four year, full-time Naturopathic Medicine curriculum are:
- Basic Sciences
This area of study includes anatomy, physiology, histology, microbiology, biochemistry, immunology, pharmacology and pathology.
- Clinical Disciplines
Naturopathic Doctors much also be trained in diagnostic medicine, including physical and clinical diagnosis, differential diagnosis, laboratory diagnosis, radiology, physical medicine and orthopedics, and naturopathic assessment
- Naturopathic Treatment Modalities
There are seven major treatment modalities that define naturopathic practice. Each modality is a distinct area of practice and includes diagnostic principles and practices, as well as therapeutic skills and techniques. The modalities are: clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), homeopathic medicine, hydrotherapy, naturopathic manipulation and lifestyle counseling.
- 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 obtain and maintain accreditation as a Naturopathic Doctor (ND), the following criteria must be met:
- Successful completion of a 4-year-full time program at an accredited school of Naturopathic Medicine that includes more than 4,500 hours of classroom training and 1,500 hours of supervised clinical experience.
- Pass NPLEX board 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.
- Pass licensing examinations as set out by the provincial regulatory board (College of Naturopaths of Ontario – CONO)
- Obtain continuing education credits as required by the provincial regulatory body (CONO)
NDs are knowledgeable in pharmacology in order reduce treatment interactions for patients on prescription medications, as well as recognize potential drug side effects, including drug-induced nutrient depletions.