Proper training, Proper Regulation
Naturopathic doctors have 8 years of education – 4 year undergrad science, and 4 year professional program – as well as write North American licensing examinations (NPLEX), and are regulated Nationally (CAND) and Provincially (SANP; CNDS). This ensures that our profession is well trained in clinical standards, can practice our scope safely, and are recognized legally as professionals. We are trained in Pharmacology, Prescribing, Minor Surgery, Emergency Medicine, Manual Therapy, Nutrition, Botanical Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Lifestyle, and more.
Rooted in the Whole
Where we are different is in our philosophy: We don’t practice the traditional medical paradigm of diagnosing a disease and then treating it. Knowing that the same diagnosis can have many different underlying causes, we instead treat the whole person. We ask why. Why are you presenting with a Eczema? Hypertension? Anxiety? Often times we recognize that there is a mind-body connection, but continue to treat our ailments as if they are separate from ourselves. If ~95% of disease is made worse by (or even caused by) stress, then why not address what’s causing stress in your life?
Like any profession, ours is changing. We’ve come full circle from a grass-root education to a strongly clinical one, and are now looking back to Nature Cure (our foundation) because it works better than clinical medicine for us. We’re seeing similar trends in the Medical Profession: The emergence of “Functional Medicine”. Functional medicine is treating someone’s function, over their diagnosis, and is exactly what I’ve already mentioned. Whether you call it naturopathic, or functional medicine, it ultimately falls under the umbrella of being “wholistic” – but that’s a term that people either love or hate. No matter what you call it, it’s rational, evidence-based, and effective.