Naturopathic Doctors (Qualifications)
Naturopathic Doctors must complete at least 3 years of undergraduate study at a recognized University, with certain pre-requisites in subjects such as biology, chemistry, biochemistry and psychology, in order to be admitted to a Naturopathic College. They must then complete 4 years of study at an accredited Naturopathic College (in Toronto, Vancouver or the U.S.), which includes basic medical sciences, naturopathic therapies and extensive clinical experience. After graduation, a potential N.D. must write a series of board examinations (NPLEX), one set which are written by all North American candidates, as well as a specific series of examinations for the jurisdiction that they wish to practice in (i.e. Ontario). After passing these examinations, an N.D. is eligible to obtain a license to practice in their chosen jurisdiction. Once in practice, each N.D. in Ontario must perform a certain number of Continuing Education credits in specific disciplines every three years.
The Naturopathy Act was proclaimed on July 1, 2015, bringing Naturopathic Doctors under more current regulation. This means that Naturopathic Doctors are now one of the regulated health professions in Ontario governed under the “Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA).” Other regulated professions include Medical Doctors, Dentists, Nurses, Chiropractors, Massage Therapists and Optometrists, to name a few. The RHPA establishes a “College” to regulate each profession. Ontario’s Naturopathic Doctors are now regulated by the College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO). CONO is in charge of writing and enforcing the policies and procedures that govern naturopathic practice in Ontario. Their mandate involves protection of the public interest and ensuring that Ontarians have access to quality naturopathic care.
Only licensed N.D.’s who are members of CONO are allowed to use the “Dr.” title in front of their name, followed by one of the titles “N.D.” or “Naturopathic Doctor.”
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