College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO)

College of Naturopaths Ontario (CONO)

The College of Naturopaths of Ontario, 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 College of Naturopaths of Ontario.

The College functions to ensure that Naturopathic Doctors are properly qualified to practice Naturopathic Medicine and that they follow the appropriate standards of practice.

Ontario’s Naturopathy Act received final approval in July 2015, moving the regulation of Naturopathic Doctors under the Regulated Health Professions Act, joining all other regulated health professions.  The Naturopathy Act confirms the current scope of NDs as primary care practitioners who are able to provide diagnoses and have access to key controlled acts in Ontario.

Naturopathic 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 two campuses across Canada in Toronto, Ontario and in New Westminster, British Columbia which incorporates over 4,500 hours of classroom and practical training, as well as 1500 hours of supervised clinical experience.

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 therapy/mechanotherapy).

In addition to the core curriculum, naturopathic students are also expected to complete Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) prior to being granted privileges 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 College of Naturopaths of Ontario.  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 College of Naturopaths of Ontario.  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 College of Naturopaths of Ontario, earn continuing education credits on an ongoing basis and be in good-standing.

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