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People might be surprised to discover that Naturopathic medicine, while rooted in traditional remedies with long historical use, is heavily backed by rigorous scientific methods. Treatments involving Clinical Nutrition, Botanical Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, Diet and Lifestyle Therapy have consistently shown clinical improvement, cementing their place in complementary health care.
Naturopathic medical schools are accredited by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME) after which they are eligible for membership in the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges (AANMC). There are seven accredited schools in North America, including two here in Canada. These government-appointed boards require candidates to pass comprehensive examinations before licensing them to practice.
Below, you will find more information on how exactly we are trained in this profound and effective model of primary health care.
Training and Education
Licensed Naturopathic Doctors require a minimum of eight years post-secondary education. The process by which prospective students gain acceptance to an accredited Naturopathic medical school is similar to that of conventional programs. Here, students must obtain the prerequisites necessary for application (usually 4 years) and undergo an extensive interview process. The degree, Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, requires four additional years of graduate level study in the medical sciences. These include anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology, immunology, physical and clinical diagnosis, differential diagnosis, laboratory diagnosis, and radiology. Students also receive intensive training in Naturopathic modalities such as clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, Naturopathic manipulative therapy and lifestyle counseling. Training for a degree in Naturopathic Medicine also includes over 1500 hours of clinical training in outpatient settings.
There are seven accredited (recognized by Naturopathic medical regulatory boards) Naturopathic medical schools in North America, including two here in Canada. These government-appointed boards require candidates to pass comprehensive examinations before licensing them to practice.
The titles Naturopathic Doctor, Naturopath, Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, are regulated titles under the Health Professions Act as overseen by the College of Naturopathic Physicians of British Columbia (cnpbc.bc.ca). These titles are not be confused with other titles like Natural Medical Doctor, Natural Doctor, Doctor of Natural Medicine, Holistic Practitioner, or Holistic Doctor. These are NOT regulated by the CNPBC. For insurance purposes, Naturopathic treatments must be administered by a licensed Naturopathic Doctor. Make sure your Naturopath is registered and ask for their registration number.