The Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy – Naturopathy (BDDT-N), appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in council, is responsible for public protection in Ontario with respect to the practice of Naturopathic Medicine. In order to practice Naturopathic Medicine in Ontario Naturopathic Doctors must be registered with the BDDT-N.
The Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy – Naturopathy was established in Ontario in 1925 under the Drugless Practitioner’s Act (DPA), Regulation 278.
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). 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.
Ontario’s new Naturopathy Act received final approval in June 2007 and will come into full effect following an extensive transition process. The Naturopathy Act will move the regulation of Naturopathic Doctors under the Regulated Health Professions Act, joining all other regulated health professions. The Naturopathy Act also confirms the current scope of NDs as primary care practitioners who are able to provide diagnoses and have access to key controlled acts. In addition to the province of Ontario, Naturopathic Doctors are also regulated in British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
Naturopathic Medical Education
Training and Education
Licensed Naturopathic Doctors require a minimum of eight years post-secondary education – four years of pre-medical study at an accredited University granting a baccalaureate degree, including the completion of the following prerequisite courses in general biology, chemistry, biochemistry, organic chemistry, psychology and a humanities course. This is then followed by entrance into a four year, full-time post-graduate program with classroom and clinical components of education at one of the below recognized Naturopathic Medical Schools which incorporates over 4,500 hours of classroom and practical training, as well as 1500 hours of supervised clinical experience.
To gain acceptance to the Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine Programme, the prospective student must meet the academic admission requirements comparable to conventional medical schools. They must also submit an application which comprises recommendation letters and evidence of extracurricular and community involvements. An interview is then organized, which consists of a panel comprising a Naturopathic Doctor, a Naturopathic Intern in their last year of study representing the Naturopathic Students’ Association, and a faculty or staff member from the Naturopathic College.
There are two accredited Naturopathic Colleges in Canada. The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto, Ontario and the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine in New Westminster, British Columbia.
The degree, Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, is granted on successful completion of the curriculum consisting of the core medical sciences (anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology, physical and clinical diagnosis, differential diagnosis, laboratory diagnosis, histopathology, immunology, cardiology, radiology, gynecology, dermatology, pediatrics) as well as intensive training in core naturopathic competencies (lifestyle counselling, nutritional counselling, traditional chinese medicine and acupuncture, botanical medicine, homeopathic medicine, hydrotherapy and physical therpy/mechanotherapy).
In addition to the core curriculum, naturopathic students are also expected to complete Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) prior to being granted priviledge to interact with patients. Naturopathic students are also required to write two licensing examinations the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examinations (NPLEX) one to test basic medical competencies written after completion of year two of the four-year program, and NPLEX two following the completion of the program with focus on clinical competencies. The NPLEX is a standardized examination used by all regulated provinces and states across North America. Successful completion of the second NPLEX examination and a separate provincial board exam is necessary for NDs to qualify for Ontario licensing. Graduates from an accredited naturopathic college receive the designation Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND), which is interchangeably used with Naturopathic Doctor (ND).
The designation, Naturopathic Doctor (ND) and Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND) are regulated titles which are granted by the BDDT-N. It is not to be confused with similar sounding titles which are not regulated by the Naturopathic professional licensing board, for example “Homeopathic Doctor”, “Natural Doctor”, “Doctor of Natural Medicine”, “Natural Medical Doctor”, “Holistic Doctor” or “Holistic Practitioner”. All registered Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) have a license number which may be verified by calling the BDDT-N. To be granted membership to a recognized professional association such as the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (CAND) or Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors (OAND), a Naturopathic Doctor must hold an active registered license with the BDDT-N, earn continuing education credits on an ongoing basis and be in good-standing.
The following naturopathic schools have been accredited by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME) and approved by the BDDT-N for the naturopathic medical training requirements for all candidates who wish to pursue eligibility for ND registration in Ontario.
Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine
1255 Sheppard Ave. East
North York, ON M2K 1E2
Tel: 416-498-1255 or 1-866-241-2266
Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine
#300 – 435 Columbia Street
New Westminster, BC V3L 5N8
National College of Naturopathic Medicine
49 SW Porter Street
Portland, OR 97201 USA
14500 Juanita Drive NE
Kenmore, WA 98028-4966 USA
Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine
2140 E. Broadway Road
Tempe, AZ 85282 USA
University of Bridgeport
College of Naturopathic Medicine
126 Park Ave.
Bridgeport, CT 06604 USA
Tel: 203-576-4552 or 1-800-392-3582
National University of Health Sciences
200 E. Roosevelt Road
Lombard, IL 60148 USA