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Training & Regulations

ND’s are highly trained medical professionals

Naturopathic medical training in North America is a rigorous process similar in length and content to conventional medical training. Registered (or licensed) Naturopathic Doctors must complete an undergraduate degree, including pre-medical science studies at a recognized university, followed by four years of full-time post-graduate naturopathic training at a college accredited for licensure.

Classroom study includes over 4500 hours of clinical medical sciences along with the study of naturopathic therapies and principles. Additionally, students participate in a 12-month clinical internship, seeing patients while supervised by licensed ND’s. The areas of training in the four year, full-time Naturopathic Medicine curriculum include:

Basic Medical Sciences: anatomy, physiology, histology, microbiology, biochemistry, immunology, pharmacology and pathology
Clinical Disciplines: physical and clinical diagnosis, differential and laboratory diagnosis, radiology, naturopathic assessment and orthopedics
Naturopathic Disciplines: clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine & acupuncture, homeopathic medicine, hydrotherapy, naturopathic manipulation and lifestyle counseling and stress management
Clinical Experience: 1500 hours treating patients while supervised by licensed Naturopathic Doctors

Finally, candidates must sit and pass two series of board examinations that have been standardized across North America. Additional exams are written for any jurisdiction the candidate seeks licensure from.

In Canada, ND’s are regulated under provincial law. Here, in Ontario, we have been regulated since 1925. Naturopathic Medicine is transitioning to the Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA) – a move that will secure our title and scope of practice, and continue to increase public confidence and awareness. The transition is scheduled to be completed and in full effect in 2014.

To ensure you are receiving appropriate care, your ND should be listed as a licensed practitioner on the CONO (College of Naturopaths of Ontario) website.

 For more information on Naturopathic Medicine in Ontario, our current regulation and the lobbying efforts of our provincial and federal organizations and current regulatory body, or to lend your support, please review the links in the resource section.

Did You Know?

  • ND’s have the same prerequisites as MD’s
  • Licensed ND’s must graduate from an accredited college in North America
  • Naturopathic medical school includes 3000 classroom hours and 1500 hours of supervised clinical practice
  • There are about 1100 ND’s in Ontario as of January 2014
  • ND’s write two sets of board examinations, standardized across North America

Most diseases are the result of medication which has been prescribed to relieve and take away a beneficient and warning symptom on the part of Nature.
- Elbert Hubbard