What is a Naturopathic Doctor and who is the right one for me?
Thank you to everyone for all the positive feedback on this blog. I am still often asked what exactly it is that I do and although most people are aware of Naturopathic Medicine not everyone knows how it can help them. Today’s blog is aimed at helping you find the right Naturopathic Doctor for you. A little about me! Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) complete an undergraduate degree followed by four years of Naturopathic College. I have been the clinical director and owner of InsideOut Health Solutions for nine years. My clinic is at Yonge and Summerhill; close to both parking and the TTC. We are a multidisciplinary clinic made up of Naturopathic Doctors, Massage therapist and Therapists. I work with several Medical Doctors in different fields. As a Naturopathic Doctor I aim to treat the root cause of disease and not the symptoms of disease alone. I have been a clinical supervisor at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine and I spent four seasons on the medical team with the Toronto Argonauts Football Club. If you are considering working with a Naturopathic Doctor you might find my checklist helpful:
- Is this person a licensed ND? You can check this at: http://www.bddtn.on.ca/
- Will my Insurance cover Naturopathic Medicine? This depends on your particular policy. Most of our patients that have insurance are covered to some degree however it is important that you call your carrier to find out how much coverage you have and what the requirements are. Your ND will be able to provide you with the forms to mail into your insurance company for coverage.
- Is this the right clinic environment for me? It is important to me that each patient is a match for my practice. Most NDs have a website, I encourage you to look at a few and learn about different clinics and practitioners. Ask about the clinic hours and location. We all have different practice styles and techniques. I personally have a huge focus on diet and environmental medicine. I am a stickler for organics and diet and teach my patients how to adopt a more organic lifestyle.
- Ask Questions: As an example one clinic may specialise in men’s health, if you are a woman going through menopause this would not be the best match for you! In Toronto we have several specialty Naturopathic clinics that are specific to certain health needs from Sports Medicine to Pediatric Health. Find the clinic that is best suited to your health needs.
- What will my MD think? This is probably the most common question I get. As Naturopathic Doctors we are trained to work with you Medical Doctor. We are happy to review your files or blood work or we may decide to order our own tests. The important thing is that your MD is aware what you are doing and that the lines of communication are open. I always introduce myself to my patients MDs via a letter and encourage them to call me with any questions they have. I have found this to create a very symbiotic and positive relationship.
- Am I comfortable with the ND: this is the most important question. We will be working closely with you and getting to know you well. Rome was not built in a day nor is perfect health created in a day. You will be working closely with your ND so make sure it is someone you communicate well with. Many of my patients have been a part of my practice for close to ten years, this allows me to really understand their needs and health.