"Naturopathic medicine is a distinct primary health care profession, emphasizing prevention, treatment, and optimal health through the use of therapeutic methods and substances that encourage individuals’ inherent self-healing process. The practice of naturopathic medicine includes modern and traditional, scientific, and empirical methods"
Naturopathic medicine is in the process of being regulated in New Brunswick and members of the New Brunswick Association of Naturopathic Doctors (NBAND) are working hard towards achieving that goal. Our naturopathic doctors who are active members and in good standing with NBAND.
Naturopathic doctors must complete an undergraduate university degree followed by an intensive 4 year graduate program from one of the accredited naturopathic medical schools. The initial training at naturopathic medical school is very similar to conventional (MD) medical school, with students learning anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pathology, and microbiology, as well as pharmacology, gynecology, dermatology, pediatrics, obstetrics, geriatrics and diagnostic imaging & laboratories. However the training a naturopathic student receives with respect to philosophy and treatment options differs remarkably. Philosophically, naturopathic doctors are trained to address the underlying cause while still providing relief from your primary medical concerns. This philosophy is applied through learning naturopathic treatments such as nutrition, herbal medicine, lifestyle counselling and homeopathy. To become proficient with these treatment modalities, naturopathic students are also required to complete clinical internships during the last 2 years of their training. By graduation, naturopathic students will have completed over 4500 hours worth of study and practice.
After completing naturopathic medical school, naturopathic doctors are required to pass rigorous board exams in order to be licensed by provincial and North American standards.
Naturopathic Medical Practice Principles
- The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae):
Naturopathic medicine recognizes an inherent self-healing process in people that is ordered and intelligent. Naturopathic doctors act to identify and remove obstacles to healing and recovery, and to facilitate and augment this inherent self-healing process.
- Identify and Treat the Causes (Tolle Causam):
Naturopathic doctors seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness rather than to merely eliminate or suppress symptoms.
- First Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere):
Naturopathic doctors follow three guidelines to avoid harming the patient:
- Utilize methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat;
- Avoid when possible the harmful suppression of symptoms; and
- Acknowledge, respect, and work with individuals’ self-healing process.
- Doctor as Teacher (Docere):
Naturopathic doctors educate their patients and encourage self-responsibility for health. They also recognize and employ the therapeutic potential of the doctor-patient relationship.
- Treat the Whole Person:
Naturopathic doctors treat each patient by taking into account individual physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, and other factors. Since total health also includes spiritual health, naturopathic doctors encourage individuals to pursue their personal spiritual development.
Naturopathic doctors emphasize the prevention of disease by assessing risk factors, heredity and susceptibility to disease, and by making appropriate interventions in partnership with their patients to prevent illness.
Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors – provides news and information about naturopathic medicine and a service to find naturopathic doctors across the country. ExploreYourHealth.ca – Innovative website will further educate Canadians about naturopathic medicine and NDs
College of Naturopathic Physicians of British Columbia – the regulatory body that licenses naturopathic physicians in BC.
North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners – to learn more about the licensing exams (NPLEX) that are required to become a licensed naturopathic doctor.
The Council on Naturopathic Medical Education – to learn more about how naturopathic medicine schools are accredited and to find a list of accredited schools.