Naturopathic Frequently Asked Questions
How are naturopathic doctors trained?
Naturopathic doctors (NDs) acquire a minimum of 3 years premedical studies followed by graduation from a 4 year, full-time medical program at an accredited school of naturopathic medicine. During the first 2 years of the naturopathic program students undertake coursework similar to an allopathic medical program (i.e., a program of study which results in a medical degree, or MD), focusing on modern basic & diagnostic sciences such as anatomy (including cadaver dissection), biochemistry & pathology, with the addition of courses in psychology & naturopathic philosophy. The 3rd and 4th years are spent focusing on individual modalities like botanical medicine & homeopathy in addition to more specialized coursework such as gastroenterology, cardiology & gynecology. During this time students also acquire 1500 hours of practical internship experience.
All Naturopathic physicians must then successfully pass rigorous North America-wide examinations in order to become licensed and registered. For more information on naturopathic education please visit the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Physicians website.
What conditions do naturopathic doctors treat?
Naturopathic doctors treat a broad range of patients in their clinics. Patients are of all ages from newborns to the elderly. NDs treat acute and chronic health concerns including:
- Acute & Chronic Pain, Headaches, Arthritis, Sports Injuries
- Anxiety & Depression
- Chronic Fatigue
- Chronic Infections
- Gynecological care, PMS, Menopausal disorders
- and more
What can I expect during an initial naturopathic visit?
During your initial naturopathic visit, Dr. Moss will spend one hour with you exploring your current health concerns as well as your medical, family, and events histories. At this time a complaint-oriented physical exam may be performed, diagnostic testing may be recommended, and the doctor can answer your questions. The goal of the first visit is to get a good idea of your medical history and current health concerns and to discuss the goals and expectations of naturopathic treatment. Basic recommendations will likely be given at this time, with more specific treatment plans presented at your second visit.
What types of assessments do naturopathic doctors use?
Naturopathic doctors use conventional and naturopathic diagnostic tools for assessing health concerns and determining the most appropriate treatment plan. Diagnostic and assessment tools used by Dr. Moss include:
- Thorough health history
- Nutritional analysis
- Physical exam: case specific exam, annual physical exam, breast exam, pap test, well child exam.
- Laboratory testing: standard blood work, allergy testing, hormone analysis, salivary testing, heavy metal testing, gastrointestinal function testing, cardiovascular risk assessment, vitamin D status and others.
- In-house testing: urinalysis, blood sugar, pregnancy test, blood typing, seasonal allergy testing
- Orthopedic testing
What types of treatments do naturopathic doctors use?
Naturopathic doctors are trained in a variety of modalities which they combine, as appropriate, for each individual patient. These include:
- Botanical medicine
- Clinical Nutrition
- Acupuncture & traditional Chinese medicine
- Physical medicine
- Lifestyle counselling
- Intravenous & injection therapies
- Chelation therapy (heavy metal detoxification)
- Prescriptive authority