How is a naturopathic doctor trained?

Naturopathic doctors typically have an undergraduate degree in science before they begin four years of specialized study at one of the five naturopathic colleges in North America. The curriculum includes the same basic medical sciences taught in a conventional medical school program:

• anatomy
• physiology
• biochemistry
• microbiology
• laboratory diagnosis
• pathology
• physical and clinical diagnosis
• pharmacology
• immunology
• radiology
• obstetrics
• gynecology

In addition to the basic medical sciences, a naturopathic doctor is trained in the following natural therapies:

• clinical nutrition
• herbal medicine
• acupuncture
• physical therapies
• lifestyle counselling

This intensive program of study is followed by a year of internship treating patients in a supervised clinical setting for a minimum of 1200 hours. Graduates are granted the title N.D. or Naturopathic Doctor but must first pass a comprehensive set of North American licensing exams in order to practice. Naturopathic doctors are regulated in the province of Ontario. To insure you're seeing a licensed practitioner in Ontario, check The College of Naturopaths Ontario.

On-going continuing education is required to maintain a license to practise naturopathic medicine in Ontario. This insures that a Naturopathic Doctor's knowledge and skills are current.