Frequently asked questions

I have never seen a Naturopathic Doctor before, what can I expect from a visit?

The goal of Naturopathic Medicine is to treat the whole person using individualized care. This means your ND needs to spend a lot of time understanding your medical history and current health concerns. Before the first visit you will be asked to fill out our intake/history forms, which can be downloaded from this website. You will bring these forms to your first visit, where your ND will spend 60-90 minutes with you to do a full assessment, including a detailed medical history and physical exam. You will discuss all aspects of your health during this visit, including your medical and family history, nutritional intake, stress levels, and daily lifestyle and exercise regime. During the first visit is also when the ND will make recommendations for you for further testing specific for you. We then discuss treatment options which are relevant to your case, and begin to implement them.

What does a physical exam involve?

The physical exam involves investigation of the heart, lungs, abdomen, musculoskeletal, head and neck, skin, hair and nails. This reveals information regarding your general health and nutritional status, and serves as a screening tool for medical conditions you may not be aware of.

How often will I have to come back?

Follow up frequency will vary for every patient, but are often booked every three to six weeks. If your ND recommends a series of acupuncture treatments, these are booked once or twice a week for a series of six to eight weeks.

If I have any questions about my treatment plan, can I call my ND?

Yes, your ND is available for telephone consultations. For telephone consults longer than 5 minutes, a fee may be charged, or they will suggest booking an appointment in order to better answer your questions.

Can an ND only treat chronic conditions?

No, Naturopathic Doctors can also treat acute conditions such as colds, flu’s, ear infections, sports injuries, etc. After an acute treatment, your ND will recommend a follow up visit or phone consult within 48 hours in order to assess your progress. The Whole Health Naturopathic Clinic will always attempt to accommodate acute visits.

Is Naturopathic Medicine covered by OHIP?

No, Naturopathic Medicine is not covered by OHIP. However, most extended health care plans do cover visits to Naturopathic Doctors. Check with your insurance provider to determine the details of your coverage.

At the Whole Health Naturopathic Clinic, payment is due at the time of the service. For your convenience we accept cash, debit, Visa and MasterCard.

What about supplements? Will they be expensive?

The cost of supplements will depend on the individual treatment plan for each patient. Your ND will recommend specific supplements which they know to be of high quality, and to produce reliable results. The Whole Health Naturopathic Clinic carries professional quality supplements, which may be hard for you to find elsewhere. Other supplements may be purchased at your local health food store.

How are Naturopathic Doctors Trained?

Naturopathic Medicine is licensed under provincial law in Ontario, and is regulated by the College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO). Registered Naturopathic Doctors must first complete a minimum of three years of pre-medical training at a recognized university. They then enter the Naturopathic Doctor Diploma program, a full-time four year program at an accredited Naturopathic College, which includes a year long clinical internship. At the present time there are only two such schools in Canada: The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto, and the Bouchier Institute in Vancouver. After successfully completing the ND program, they must pass both North American and provincial board-licensing exams.

In order for Naturopathic Doctors to have a prescribing license, they need to complete a post-graduate course and exam.  This enables them to prescribe bioidentical hormones, administer B12 injections, prescribe certain natural supplements at higher dosages and prescribe desiccated thyroid preparations.  The Naturopathic Doctors at the Whole Health Naturopathic Clinic have their prescribing license and thus are able to prescribe and administer the above mentioned items.

All NDs are required to carry malpractice insurance. Other holistic practitioners may not be trained, regulated or insured, and we encourage you to investigate this before choosing a practitioner.

How do I know if a Naturopathic Doctor is licensed?

In Ontario, Naturopathic Doctors are regulated by College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO).  To determine if an individual calling themselves an ND is licensed, call the CONO at 416-583-6010 or go to www.collegeofnaturopaths.on.ca or the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors at 1-416-233-2001 (www.oand.org).

How is an ND different from an MD?

NDs and MDs both undergo extensive amounts of education and training. Both are required to complete several years of university education before continuing to further studies at naturopathic college or medical school. Both study basic medical sciences such as anatomy, physiology and pathology, as well as clinical sciences and internships.

MDs complete four years of medical school, and then do a specialized residency. They focus on using pharmaceuticals and surgery to treat specific symptoms and conditions. They have access to all of the latest diagnostic testing, and are particularly proficient at treating acute and emergency conditions. They are covered by OHIP, however this creates time constraints which do not allow them to spend much time with each patient.

NDs complete four years of education at a Naturopathic College, including a year long clinical internship. During this time they receive extensive training in nutritional and lifestyle counselling, botanical medicine, homeopathy, Asian Medicine, and physical therapies. NDs are trained to treat the whole person and remove the cause, rather than focusing on specific symptoms. They are dedicated to helping you achieve and maintain an optimum level of health, as well as preventing future health concerns.

Will my MD be comfortable if I am also seeing an ND?

Although NDs are trained to act as primary care physicians, we are happy to work together with your MD in order to offer you comprehensive health care. NDs are particularly good at nutritional and lifestyle counselling, which MDs do not have sufficient training in or time for. Some MDs may be unaware of the level of education and training received by NDs, and we encourage you to refer them to our office with any questions. Many MDs collaborate with us, in order to assist their patients with issues they do not deal with such as dietary and lifestyle modifications.