What is naturopathic medicine?

Naturopathic medicine is a division of primary health care that focuses on prevention, and supporting your body's innate ability to heal itself. Our naturopathic principles remind us to look for what is causing your condition so you get longer lasting results. We use a complete health assessment, including physical exam, laboratory testing, and interpretation to make a diagnosis, and we recommend treatments on a scale from the least invasive to most invasive where appropriate. Click here to learn more about naturopathic medicine. Click here to learn more about why naturopathic medicine might be right for you.

What kind of education do naturopathic doctors have?

All naturopathic physicians require an undergraduate degree in order to be accepted into the naturopathic medical program, making the total minimum duration of post secondary education 7 years. The naturopathic program is 4 years in length, and covers similar material to other health care professions, such as anatomy, physiology, pathology, and differential diagnosis. Where we differ is in the variety of treatment options we are educated in. Naturopathic physicians are educated in nutrition and botanical medicine, physical medicine and chiropractic manipulation, pharmacology, counseling, and various other elective subjects such as intravenous therapies and other injection therapies. For a more in-depth comparison of educational hours across health professions, click here.

How are naturopathic physicians regulated?

Naturopathic physicians are regulated under the Health Professions Act in BC, similar to other health care professionals. We are governed by the College of Naturopathic Physicians of British Columbia, who are responsible for tracking our licensure, and keeping the public safe. We are also represented provincially, and nationally by non-profit associations ( British Columbia Naturopathic Association, and the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors, respectively) who are responsible for government relations, public education, support to the colleges, and supporting scientific research in our field. Make sure the naturopathic physician that you choose to see is properly licensed and regulated to ensure you receive the best, and safest care possible.

Why might I receive different testing or treatment options if I go to a different ND?

This is a common scenario in all areas of health care. As naturopathic physicians, we have a large scope of practice, and different physicians will gravitate towards the theories and techniques that that they excel in. This is not to say that any technique is more or less effective than another, it is just a different way of looking at the issue. The same is true if you were to go to different MDs for your complaint, you may get different answers. As with any health care professional, it is important that you find someone who resonates with you and your beliefs. If you aren't comfortable with the diagnosis or assessment methods, get a second opinion. Find someone you feel you can trust, and who is dedicated to working together with you.

Are naturopathic visits covered by insurance?

Most extended insurance plans provide some level of coverage towards naturopathic services (anywhere from $500 per or above). Please refer to the details of your specific plan to determine what your coverage is. In addition, you can set up a health spending account with the provincial government to help offset the cost of naturopathic services. For more information, click here

Can NDs write prescriptions?

Many NDs have completed the pharmacy upgrade course and are legally able to write prescriptions for a specific collection of pharmaceuticals in BC.

Can NDs write lab requisitions?

Yes, NDs are able to write you a lab requisition that can be taken to any Life Labs, or samples can be drawn in office. However, tests requested by an ND are not subsidized my MSP.

Can NDs refer to specialists?

If your case requires assessment by a specialist, you will need a referral through your medical doctor. I am happy to collaborate with your medical doctor, and specialists to provide you with the most comprehensive care possible. Any communication between physicians will require your written consent.