Naturopathic Education & Regulation in BC
In BC, naturopathic physicians (NDs) are licensed to provide primary care to people of all ages. They are trained as complementary medicine general practitioners and provide access to a full range of diagnostic tests and therapies.
In BC, Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) must complete a minimum of three years pre-medical training at university, followed by four years post-graduate training at an accredited naturopathic medical school. NDs complete roughly 1500 hours of basic clinical sciences, 1900 hours of standard medical therapeutics including pharmacology, family medicine, internal medicine and more.
They have extensive training in naturopathic treatments such as manipulative and physical medicine, preventative medicine, nutritional medicine, botanical medicine, homeopathic medicine. After completing a board certified competency exam, Naturopaths then continue their training with additional training certifications in areas such as acupuncture, bio-oxidative medicine, chelation therapy, prolotherapy, homeopathy or prescriptive authority. Prescriptive authority allows them to both write prescriptions for the same medications you would get from a medical doctor and help you manage your medications or reduce your current medications, if possible and if it would be in your best interest.
Are naturopathic doctors licensed as doctors?
Naturopathic Doctors have been regulated in BC under health legislation since 1923, and became a self-regulating health profession in 1936. In North America today, more patients seek alternative an allied non-MDs for healthcare than MDs. Naturopathic medicine is one of the fastest growing safe and effective alternatives to western medicine in Canada. The number of licensed Naturopathic Doctors doubled in BC between 2000 and 2010. There is momentous shift back toward our roots and a more natural way of taking care of our health and wellbeing.
What are the Advantages of Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic medicine emphasizes the promotion of healthy lifestyle, prevention of disease, patient education and individual responsibility. It is arguably the most therapeutically beneficial and cost-effective approach to preventing and treating chronic disease. There are three major benefits to seeing a Naturopathic Doctor Online.
- A preventative approach to medicine,
- Alternatives to drugs, medications and elective surgeries,
- Access to valid root cause treatments for chronic diseases for which orthodox medicine has no effective treatment.
Naturopathic Doctors develop individualize treatment plans with a lot of thought and clinical reasoning. They’re based on a highly developed understanding of the nature of health and disease, which has blending centuries-old natural and non-toxic therapies with modern advances in the study of health and human systems. A Naturopathic Doctor can cover most aspects of family health from prenatal to geriatric care. Treatment approaches and methods are continually re-examined in the light of scientific advances.
What can I expect from my first appointment with a Naturopathic Doctor?
When you schedule your first appointment online, you will receive a link via email to an online health history form, which is where you explain your history of injuries, medications, surgeries, goals of treatment and anything else about you that is relevant to your health. Naturopathic Doctors use this comprehensive intake and patient health history as well as your current medical issues to develop a clear picture of your overall health. This first appointment may include a guided self physical exam, which your ND can walk you through online. Your ND may also order laboratory tests or have you request these tests from your medical doctor. Your treatment plan will be developed based on your goals or reason for seeking treatment, your health history, lab test results (if necessary), but also lifestyle details such as dietary habits, emotional stress, exercise and exposure to environmental hazards.
Do naturopathic physicians prescribe pharmaceuticals?
Many NDs in BC (including Dr. Lise Maltais ND) are trained and licensed to prescribe prescription medications. These may be used in conjunction with traditional naturopathic therapies, if deemed appropriate, to provide primary care with a focus on wellness and prevention. Dr. Lise Maltais does have the additional training and certification to prescribe, manage and un-prescribe medication, when appropriate.
Does insurance cover naturopathic medicine?
Most extended health care plans cover naturopathic medicine appointments. Some plans also include lab or diagnostic testing coverage. You can clarify coverage with your benefits provider. For individuals with a Health Spending Account, visits to an ND are 100% covered. In respect to the provincial MSP plan, there is limited coverage for individuals on Premium Assistance or social assistance only.