"Naturopathic medicine is a distinct primary health care profession, emphasizing prevention, treatment, and optimal health through the use of therapeutic methods and substances that encourage individuals’ inherent self-healing process. The practice of naturopathic medicine includes modern and traditional, scientific, and empirical methods"
Naturopathic medicine is in the process of being regulated in New Brunswick and members of the New Brunswick Association of Naturopathic Doctors (NBAND) are working hard towards achieving that goal. Dr. Gleixner and Dr. Anhorn are naturopathic doctors licensed and board certified in British Columbia and are insured practitioners of medicine. They are registered and in good standing with both NBAND and the College of Naturopathic Physicians of British Columbia (CNPBC). These organizations ensure that naturopathic doctors have been trained to the regulated standards as well as ensuring that their knowledge remains current through continuing education requirements. In BC, naturopathic physicians are general medical practitioners and have been licensed since 1937. Under regulations approved April 9, 2009 by Health Ministry George Abbott, naturopathic physicians in British Columbia become the first in Canada to be granted prescribing authority for certain pharmaceutical medicines.
Naturopathic doctors must complete an undergraduate university degree followed by an intensive 4 year graduate program from one of the accredited naturopathic medical schools. The initial training at naturopathic medical school is very similar to conventional (MD) medical school, with students learning anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pathology, and microbiology, as well as pharmacology, gynecology, dermatology, pediatrics, obstetrics, geriatrics and diagnostic imaging & laboratories. However the training a naturopathic student receives with respect to philosophy and treatment options differs remarkably. Philosophically, naturopathic doctors are trained to address the underlying cause while still providing relief from your primary medical concerns. This philosophy is applied through learning naturopathic treatments such as nutrition, herbal medicine, lifestyle counseling and homeopathy. To become proficient with these treatment modalities, naturopathic students are also required to complete clinical internships during the last 2 years of their training. By graduation, naturopathic students will have completed over 4500 hours worth of study and practice.
After completing naturopathic medical school, future doctors are required to pass rigorous board exams in order to be licensed by provincial and North American standards.
Naturopathic Medical Practice Principles
- The Healing Power of Nature (Vis Medicatrix Naturae):
Naturopathic medicine recognizes an inherent self-healing process in people that is ordered and intelligent. Naturopathic physicians act to identify and remove obstacles to healing and recovery, and to facilitate and augment this inherent self-healing process.
- Identify and Treat the Causes (Tolle Causam):
The naturopathic physician seeks to identify and remove the underlying causes of illness rather than to merely eliminate or suppress symptoms.
- First Do No Harm (Primum Non Nocere):
Naturopathic physicians follow three guidelines to avoid harming the patient:
- Utilize methods and medicinal substances which minimize the risk of harmful side effects, using the least force necessary to diagnose and treat;
- Avoid when possible the harmful suppression of symptoms; and
- Acknowledge, respect, and work with individuals’ self-healing process.
- Doctor as Teacher (Docere):
Naturopathic physicians educate their patients and encourage self-responsibility for health. They also recognize and employ the therapeutic potential of the doctor-patient relationship.
- Treat the Whole Person:
Naturopathic physicians treat each patient by taking into account individual physical, mental, emotional, genetic, environmental, social, and other factors. Since total health also includes spiritual health, naturopathic physicians encourage individuals to pursue their personal spiritual development.
Naturopathic physicians emphasize the prevention of disease by assessing risk factors, heredity and susceptibility to disease, and by making appropriate interventions in partnership with their patients to prevent illness.
Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors – provides news and information about naturopathic medicine and a service to find licensed naturopathic doctors across the country. ExploreYourHealth.ca – Innovative website will further educate Canadians about naturopathic medicine and NDs
College of Naturopathic Physicians of British Columbia – the regulatory body that licenses naturopathic physicians in BC.
North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners – to learn more about the licensing exams (NPLEX) that are required to become a licensed naturopathic physician.
The Council on Naturopathic Medical Education – to learn more about how naturopathic medicine schools are accredited and to find a list of accredited schools.
Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians (OncANP) – is a specialty society of members who either specialize in naturopathic oncology or who desire to further their knowledge and understanding of the field.