Is It Regulated?

It is not unusual to hear people misspeak about naturopathic medicine.  Many people don’t actually understand the regulation and education of naturopathic medicine let alone the methods employed and efficacy of treatment.  Naturopathic doctors are valuable and necessary, especially in today’s society.  Prevention of illness is important but NDs are also available for acute conditions, contrary to a lot of what I hear when I’m out and about!  I wanted to post information that I got from the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors website on regulation and education:

Regulation

  • Naturopathic Doctors are regulated in Ontario under the 1925, Drugless Therapy Act and are registered (licensed) by the Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy-Naturopathy (BDDT-N).
  • The BDDT-N functions to ensure that Naturopathic Doctors are properly qualified to practice Naturopathic Medicine and that they follow the appropriate standards of practice.
  • Ontario’s new Naturopathy Act received final approval in June 2007 and will come into full effect following an extensive transition process.
  • The Naturopathy Act will move the regulation of Naturopathic Doctors under theRegulated Health Professions Act, joining all other regulated health professions.
  • The Naturopathy Act also confirms the current scope of NDs as primary care practitioners who are able to provide diagnoses and have access to key controlled acts.
  • Naturopathic Doctors are also regulated in Canada in the provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Education

  • NDs obtain comprehensive and rigorous training in an educational structure similar to that of medical doctors.
  • Naturopathic Doctors are highly educated primary care providers who integrate standard medical diagnostics with a broad range of natural therapies.
  • NDs require three years of pre-med postsecondary education, plus four years of full-time study at an approved college of Naturopathic Medicine.
  • There are two accredited Naturopathic Colleges in Canada. The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto, Ontario and the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine in New Westminster, British Columbia.
  • The four year program incorporates over 4,500 hours of classroom training in basic medical science courses, clinical sciences and naturopathic therapies, as well as 1500 hours of supervised clinical experience.
  • Graduates from an accredited naturopathic college receive the designation Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND).
  • Following the completion of their program, NDs must successfully complete the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examinations (NPLEX) in order to qualify for licensing in Ontario.
  • NPLEX is the standard examination used by all regulated provinces and states across North America.
  • NDs are also required to earn continuing education credits on an ongoing basis to maintain their registration and good standing with the regulatory body.
  • The Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors provides high quality continuing education that awards these necessary credits frequently throughout each calendar year.

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