Naturopathic training involves completion of three years of pre-medical sciences at a University. Prerequisite courses include biology, biochemistry, chemistry, organic chemistry, introductory psychology and humanities.
The Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine program is an intensive four-year program with 4,500 hours of classroom training and 1,500 hours of supervised clinical experience. The four areas of training in the naturopathic curriculum are:
- Basic Sciences: This area of study includes anatomy, physiology, histology, microbiology, immunology, pharmacology and pathology.
- Clinical Disciplines: Diagnostic medicine areas of study are physical and clinical diagnosis, differential and laboratory diagnosis, radiology, naturopathic assessment and orthopedics.
- Naturopathic Disciplines: There are six major disciplines that define the areas of naturopathic medicine. 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, acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine, homeopathic medicine, hydrotherapy, naturopathic manipulation and lifestyle counseling.
- Clinical Experience: All students must complete 1,500 hours of clinical requirements and demonstrate proficiency in all aspects of Naturopathic Medicine prior to graduation.
Following completion of the naturopathic program, students are required to pass NPLEX board exams. NPLEX is the standard examination used by all licensing jurisdictions for Naturopathic Doctors in North America.
Naturopathic doctors are also required to meet the Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits as required by the provincial regulatory boards on an ongoing basis.
Naturopathic doctors in Ontario are licensed through the Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy- Naturopathy (BDDT-N) and regulated in Ontario Under the Drugless Therapy Act.
The role of the BDDT-N is to ensure that practicing naturopathic doctors meet all of the above outlined qualifications and that they adhere to the proper standards of practice outlined by the regulations of the profession.
– Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors