Each Wednesday throughout January, we will be publishing an article by Dr. Ayla Wilson, ND, who will be providing us with a naturopathic perspective on some of our most common questions. Today, she covers how a Vancouver mom can find her own naturopathic doctor.
Naturopathic medicine is a licensed medical profession in British Columbia, and naturopathic doctors are considered as primary care physicians. When searching for a naturopathic doctor in Vancouver, there are a few criteria you should consider. But first, why would you want to find a naturopathic doctor to care for your family?
What is naturopathic medicine all about?
Naturopathic doctors are trained to care for the same conditions as conventional medical doctors; however, instead of using prescription pharmaceuticals as a first line treatment, naturopaths use alternative means. naturopathic doctors are trained in clinical nutrition, lifestyle counseling, acupuncture and traditional oriental medicine, herbal medicine, homeopathy, minor surgery, intravenous therapies, physical medicine and spinal manipulation.
The naturopathic approach to healthcare can be summed up in the following principles:
- First, do no harm
- Utilize the healing power of nature
- Identify and treat the cause
- Treat the whole person
- Doctor as teacher
- Prevention and preventative healthcare
What are the criteria for being a licensed ND in BC?
- A minimum of three years of undergraduate training and the required prerequisite courses for medicine
- Four years of naturopathic medicine training at an accredited naturopathic medical school, including a two-year clinical practicum
- Passing grades in two sets of comprehensive board exams (NPLEX) administered by the North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners (NABNE)
- Passing grades in the BC board exams to become licensed to practice in BC
- Valid malpractice insurance
- Registered and in good standing with the College of Naturopathic Physicians of British Columbia (CNPBC), the regulatory board for naturopathic doctors in BC
- Minimum number of continuing education credits for each continuing education period
Where can I find a licensed naturopathic doctor in Vancouver?
A list of naturopathic doctors licensed by our regulatory board, the CNPBC, can be found on its website.
The British Columbia Naturopathic Association (BCNA) provides a list of licensed naturopathic doctors based on the location, which is useful if you would like to find a physician close to where you live.
The BCNA also offers a feature on their website to search for a naturopathic doctor who focuses on a particular area of naturopathic medicine (ex. Pediatrics) or a naturopathic who does a certain treatment (ex. Acupuncture).
Is it the right fit?
Once you find an naturopathic doctor, make sure you peruse her website, and call or visit her offic to see if she is the right fit. Each doctor has her own individual treatment style and philosophy. Ask questions and find out if she provides the testing and therapies that you are interested in, and if you would like treatment for a particular condition, ask if she have experience treating it.
Oftentimes, the naturopathic doctor will have a blog or testimonials on his website that will give you insight into his style of practice. Just as every naturopath is different, each family is unique. Finding the right naturopathic doctor for you and your kids will help you receive the best quality of holistic medical care.
Born and raised in Vancouver, Dr Ayla Wilson attended the University of British Columbia for her pre-med education before attending the Naturopathic Medicine program at the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine in New Westminster.