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How does Naturopathic Medicine compare to conventional medicine

Both are doctors, both are similarly trained and both are primary care providers. Naturopathic doctors and medical doctors differ in their approach to health and their treatment approaches. Naturopathic medicine focuses on identifying the root cause of the disease to lessen and prevent the further progression of illness. Naturopathic care is uniquely designed for each individual, providing a natural non-invasive approach to stimulating the body’s own innate healing capabilities. In contrast, conventional medicine targets the symptom using pharmaceutical agents or surgery to eliminate disease.


How does a Naturopathic Doctor differ from a Homeopath?

A Naturopathic Doctor uses a variety of treatment approaches to care for patients. They must complete a University undergraduate degree, in addition to an accredited four-year Naturopathic Medical program. A Naturopathic Doctor practicing in Ontario must be registered and licensed through the Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy – Naturopathy. They are governed under the Drugless Practitioners Act.


Homeopaths use homeopathy to treat their patients. Their education includes completion of high school, and a minimum of two years at either college or university. They are not required to have completed a university degree. Three or four year programs that consist of 18 weekend classes each year are offered through the Toronto School of Homeopathic Medicine.


What can Natruopathic Medicine do for you?

From babies to elderly, from physical to mental, from acute to chronic – Naturopathic medicine can address it.


Naturopathic medicine is beneficial for the following types of patients:

  • Patients who are looking for preventative and health promotion approaches.
  • Patients who have a range of symptoms that they have been unable to treat on their own or with the help of other medical practitioners.
  • Patients who are looking for an effective way of improving their quality of life.
  • Patients who are looking to combine conventional and naturopathic treatments with the aim of minimizing side effects of drugs, surgery or conventional treatments.


How are Naturopathic physicians educated?

Naturopathic Doctors obtain comprehensive and rigorous training in the educational structure that is similar to conventional medical doctors. ND’s require four years of pre-med postsecondary education plus four years of full-time medical study at an approved college of Naturopathic Medicine. The four years are made up of over 4,500 hours of classroom lecture and training in basic medical science, clinical sciences, and naturopathic therapies, in addition to 1,500 hours of clinical experience.


Naturopathic Doctors must successfully complete the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examination (NPLEX) to quality for Ontario licensing. NPLEX is a national standard examination used by all regulated provinces and states throughout North America. To maintain their designation, Naturopathic physicians are also required to earn continuing education credits on a continuous basis.


What should I expect on the first visit?

The first visit may take 60 to 90 minutes. Your initial visit will include an in-depth naturopathic assessment of your health concerns, medical history, and health goals. Dr. Cha will review your completed health questionnaire with you, ask detailed questions relevant to your health concerns, run a screening urine test and perform a physical exam. A treatment program will then be specifically designed to meet your personal needs.


Is Naturopathic Medicine covered by OHIP health insurance?

Naturopathic services are not currently covered by OHIP. Many extended health care plans provide coverage. Check your benefits package or contact your health insurer for further details.

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