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FAQ's

Q: What is naturopathic medicine?

Naturopathic medicine is a distinct primary health care system that blends modern scientific knowledge with traditional and natural forms of medicine. It is based on the healing power of nature and it supports and stimulates the body's ability to heal itself. Naturopathic medicine is the art and science of disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention using natural therapies including: botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, hydrotherapy, homeopathy, naturopathic manipulation, traditional Chinese medicine / acupuncture, and prevention and lifestyle counseling.

Q: What are Naturopathic Physicians?

Naturopathic Physicians, or NDs, are trained as primary care physicians and perform physical exams, Pap smears, diagnostic laboratory tests and imaging studies familiar to all types of family physicians and general practitioners. Naturopathic physicians are also trained in when and how to refer to specialists and for urgent care. They have been licensed in British Columbia for nearly 70 years.
Like a conventional doctor, dentist, or chiropractor, the naturopathic doctor first completes pre-medical studies at university. The naturopathic student then enters into a four-year, full-time medical program at an accredited school of naturopathic medicine. Training includes basic, medical, and clinical science; diagnostics; naturopathic principles and therapeutics; and extensive clinical experience under the supervision of licensed naturopathic doctors. Graduates receive the title "N.D." or Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine.

Q: What conditions/illnesses do Naturopathic Doctors treat?

Naturopathic doctors are primary health care practitioners. They are trained to treat virtually all health concerns from acute to chronic, pediatric to geriatric and physical to psychological. Naturopathic doctors work with three main groups of people: 1) patients that are looking for disease prevention and health promotion, 2) patients with a range of health concerns and no clear diagnosis and 3) patients with chronic and severe illnesses.

Q: What are typical visits to a Naturopathic Doctor like?

  The first appointment with a naturopathic doctor is about 1 to 1½ hours and subsequent appointments will be from 20 minutes to 1 hour in length depending on your specific health concerns and the naturopathic doctor you are working with. Typically during the initial visits your naturopathic doctor will take a detailed history of your current and past health concerns, conduct a physical exam and use information from laboratory tests to make an assessment and diagnosis. With the patient's input, a personalized treatment plan will be proposed to help facilitate achieving his or her health goals. 

 

Q: Is naturopathic medicine covered by MSP?

Provincial subsidies for naturopathic medicine were cut by the liberal government on January 1, 2002. At present there is no MSP coverage available for visits to an ND unless you are on premium assistance. There is limited coverage for premium assistance patients; find out if you have coverage and whether your ND will see premium assistance patients before making an appointment. Most extended health plans (i.e., private plans usually through your employer) do cover visits to NDs. Most plans pay 80% of patient visits but make sure you clarify coverage with your benefits manager.

Q: How are NDs Different From Regular Physicians?

A Naturopathic Physician is trained in the methods of treatment commonly referred to as alternative medicine. When you see an ND for health care your treatments may include therapeutic diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes, such as a stop smoking program, herbal medicines, nutritional medicines, manual manipulation or physical therapies. Your naturopathic physician may refer you for massage, acupuncture or midwifery services as needed. You and your chosen ND would work together to determine the best possible treatments available including those traditionally provided by specialists such as cardiologists, allergists, pulmonary specialists and so on.

Q: What is the difference between a naturopathic doctor and a homeopath?

There are three major differences. The first is training. The second is regulation. The third is treatment.
In regard to training, naturopathic doctors are generalists in alternative medicine. They receive at least 3-years pre-medical training at university, then 4-years at an accredited naturopathic college. They are primary care physicians using a variety of therapies and modalities according to each patient's need.
In BC and many other provinces and US states naturopathic medicine is regulated just as MDs, nurses, chiropractors and other health professionals are licensed and regulated. At present, homeopathy is not a licensed or regulated health profession in BC. In one sense, only NDs are licensed to practice homeopathy.
Another difference is treatment. A homeopath would only prescribe a homeopathic medicine. An ND may use botanical medicine, homeopathic medicine, physical medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, or any combination to treat a patient.

Resources:

British Columbia Naturopathic Association (BCNA): http://www.bcna.ca/
Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (CAND): http://www.cand.ca/

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754 Seymour Street, V2C 2H3

250-377-3077

250-377-3079

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We are a general family practice concerned with treating all members of the family with health and wellness issues ranging from optimizing well being and longevity to treatment of acute and chronic disease.

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