To obtain a naturopathic medical credential (ND) that qualifies the recipient to sit for licensing examination students must have the following:
- Prerequisites including three years of pre-medical sciences at a University with a cumulative grade point average 3.00 on a four point scale. Prerequisite courses: biology, biochemistry, chemistry, organic chemistry, introductory psychology and humanities.
- Successfully complete a 4-year-full time program in an accredited school of Naturopathic Medicine that includes more than 4,500 hours of classroom training and 1,500 hours of supervised clinical experience.
- Pass Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examinations (NPLEX) board exams that are written after the 2nd year and 4th year of study. NPLEX is the standard examination used by all licensing jurisdictions for Naturopathic doctors in North America.
- Meet the Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits as required by the provincial regulatory boards on an ongoing basis.
Areas of Training
Naturopathic Doctors undergo training similar to medical doctors plus they include the naturopathic disciplines. The four areas of curriculum are:
- Basic Sciences - This area of study includes anatomy, physiology, histology, microbiology, biochemistry, immunology, pharmacology and pathology.
- Clinical Disciplines - Diagnostic medicine areas of study are physical and clinical diagnosis, differential and laboratory diagnosis, radiology, naturopathic assessment and orthopaedics.
- Naturopathic Disciplines - There are six major disciplines that define the areas of naturopathic practice. Each discipline is a distinct area of practice and includes both diagnostic principles and practices as well as therapeutic skills and techniques. They include: clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, homeopathic medicine, hydrotherapy, naturopathic manipulation and lifestyle counselling.
- Clinical Experience - All students must complete 1,500 hours of clinical requirements and demonstrate proficiency in all aspects of Naturopathic Medicine prior to graduation.
- Naturopathic Doctors are regulated in Ontario under the 1925, Drugless Therapy Act and are registered (licensed) by the Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy-Naturopathy (BDDT-N) appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in council.
- The BDDT-N functions to ensure that Naturopathic Doctors are properly qualified to practice Naturopathic Medicine and that they follow the appropriate standards of practice.
- The Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME) is the authority for establishing and maintaining the educational standards for the naturopathic profession and accredits the naturopathic colleges in Canada and the United States that enjoy recognition by the licensing and regulatory boards in the provinces and states.