How do you become a naturopathic doctor?
Completion of an undergraduate degree with the appropriate prerequisites (Such as chemistry, biology, psychology, etc.).
Acceptance to and completion of a four year Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine program. There are only 7 accredited schools in North America.
Successful completion of NPLEX board exams - Every ND in North America is required to pass this two part exam.
Completion of BC board exams which are run by the college of naturopathic physicians of BC (CNPBC)
Naturopathic doctor versus naturopath?
Naturopathic doctors are a regulated profession. This means that there is a college in place to protect the public. This college also ensures that all licenced naturopathic doctors have completed all of the steps mentioned in the previous question before being able to practice.
Naturopaths or those using the doctor of natural medicine (DNM) designation are not licenced naturopathic doctors. They may have completed online courses but lack the ability to do many of the therapies that NDs may do.
To find out if you are seeing a licenced ND you can look them up on the CNPBC website
Is it covered by extended health benefits?
Many people have extended health benefits which may be used towards naturopathic medicine. It’s a good idea to check with your insurance company beforehand to see what exactly they will cover. Generally visits and services like IV therapy and acupuncture are covered but it’s helpful to find out if specialty labs and supplements are covered.
Do you have a specialty?
Naturopathic doctors are not allowed to hold specialties at this time. Many will say that they have a focus or special interest in a certain area. My interests are somewhat varried - I enjoy women’s health and hormonal concerns but I also enjoy helping those with cardiovascular concerns such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol. I also enjoy treating mental health conditions and various gastrointestinal concerns.