Some of the information out there about naturopathic medicine is really confusing – I get it! Below you’ll find answers to the most frequently asked questions I get, and of course if you don’t find what you’re looking for here, feel free to contact me.
Is the cost to see a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine covered by MSP?
No, at this time the cost of our services is not covered by MSP, which is also true of other alternative healthcare providers such as chiropractors and physiotherapists. If you have extended health coverage, you may recieve some coverage from that plan. If you need help determining if that’s the case for you, contact your extended health provider or your employer, or you may also call the office and we’ll do our best to assist you.
Why does the first visit cost more than return visit, and why does it take an hour?
One of the foundations of Naturopathic Medicine is that we treat the cause of illness, rather than simply treating symptoms. Unless we determine what is the underlying cause of whatever it is you’re experiencing, your symptoms are going to continue to return. For example, if you come to see me for a chronically runny nose and I simply gave you a decongestant, your runny nose would go away but only until the medicine wears off. I try my best to provide my patients with symptoms relief while treating the underlying condition. So in that example, if your runny nose was caused by a food allergy, we would figure out what that is and remove it from your diet so that your runny nose doesn’t return. Depending on the severity of the symptom, I may suggest a natural decongestant to use in the meantime, but the idea is that you wouldn’t have to use that forever, only until we solved the root of the problem. In order for me to determine the cause of your issue, I need to take a thorough history, ask all sorts of questions about the condition at hand, and perform some form of physical exam. All of this takes a bit of time, more than you’re probably used to spending with your GP. Then we discuss what your options are and together we choose the best path forward for you. This will also include discussing if/when you need to return for a follow-up.
Can I have both a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) and a Medical Doctor (MD)?
Yes! As a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, it is my goal to work with you and any other care providers that are part of your health care team. My own personal health has benefited from a balance between traditional and naturopathic medical care, and it is truly my belief that by working together we can best optimize your health and wellness. I am able to treat many different conditions, as would your GP, including aspects of primary family care such as pre- and post-natal care, well child visits, physicals (including pap and breast exams), and acute care including evaluation of colds/flus, ear infections and urinary tract infections. I offer a number of laboratory tests and evaluations to help determine the cause of your condition and then together we work towards healing the cause of the condition and improving/eliminating your symptoms.
What kind of education and training is required to be a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine?
I attended the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine (BINM), one of only 7 accredited Naturopathic schools in North America. To be admitted, I required a undergraduate degree with certain prerequisites similar to what a medical doctor would be required to have (I happen to have a Bachelor of Science), and to have maintained a certain GPA. The program at BINM provides 3500 hours of classroom instruction, and 1400 hours of clinical training. We are required to write and pass two sets of standardized board exams, one part way through our education that tests our foundational understanding of chemistry, microbiology, physiology, biology and anatomy (as examples), and one at the end of our education that tests our clinical understanding and ability to diagnose and treat using botanical medicine, homeopathy, physicial medicine, pharmacology, and emergency medicine (again, as examples). Once licenced I am required to maintain my education by completing a certain number of continuing education credits every 2 years. In addition to the base required training, I have taken additional courses in pediatrics, pre- and post-natal care, obstetrics and intravenous (IV) therapy, and I am additionally board certified in Acupuncture.