FAQ General Naturopathic

Read on for Frequently Asked Questions FAQ General Naturopathic to answer all your questions about naturopathic medicine and how Naturopathic Doctors can help you.


FAQ General Naturopathic: How are Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) trained?

Like Medical Doctors, Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) undergo a minimum of three years pre-medical training at university, often achieving a Bachelor’s degree. Then, they must complete an additional four years of post-graduate training at a naturopathic medical school, accredited by a governing body recognized by the US Department of Education, the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME) for both American and Canadian Schools. This post-graduate training entails a gruelling program of ~ 1500 hours of basic clinical sciences, 1900 hours of standard medical therapeutics (eg anatomy, physiology, neurology, biochemistry, microbiology, pharmacology, cardiology, minor surgery, family medicine, internal medicine etc) plus extensive training over four years in various naturopathic treatments to receive a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine.

Naturopathic Modalities include: 


Additional Certifications require additional education, examinations & continuing education.

Additional Certifications:

It is important to note that any distance education programs are NOT valid as accredited training.  Naturopathic Doctors are required to pass intensive national licensing board exams before practicing.


FAQ General Naturopathic: How does Naturopathic Medicine differ from Conventional Medicine?

The critical difference between naturopathic medicine and allopathic medicine relates to the philosophy and the fundamental approaches to:

  • Do No Harm
  • Work with the Healing Power of Nature
  • Address the Fundamental Causes of Disease
  • Heal Each Aspect of the Patient, Mentally, Emotionally, Physically and Spiritually with Individualized Treatment
  • Educate the Patient in the Tenets of Prevention and a Healthy Lifestyle
  • Use Natural, Non-Invasive Treatments

Conventional medical doctors (MD) typically address the symptoms of disease using pharmaceutical drugs or surgery, while not much education in nutrition and lifestyle is provided for them.  Additionally, the healthcare system provides limited time (~ 5-10 minutes) for patients to discuss concerns with their Medical Doctor compared to ~15 – 60 minutes with their Naturopathic Doctor.


FAQ General Naturopathic: Are there Specializations for Naturopathic Doctors?

Primarily, specializations become a moot point as Naturopathic Doctors take an individualized approach and treat the whole patient. Some doctors do have a practice focus.

In BC, the most well regulated province in Canada by the College of Naturopathic Physicians of BC (CNPBC), Naturopathic Doctors cannot claim to “specialize” although additional certifications do require extensive education, examinations and continuing education for the following:


FAQ General Naturopathic: What is the difference between a Naturopath & a Homeopath?

There are also a few paramount differences between a Homeopath and a Naturopathic Doctor.  Below we compare training, regulation and treatment.

Naturopathic Doctor

  • University Education 7-8 years, Bachelors degree & Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine
  • Licensed in BC as primary healthcare providers
  • Regulated like MDs by a College which protects the public, in BC – CNPBC
  • Required to carry malpractice insurance
  • Educated & experienced in prescribing many treatment modalities including Homeopathy, as well as Preventive Medicine, Nutritional Medicine, Botanical (Herbal) Medicine, Manipulative & Physical Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture



FAQ General Naturopathic: How can a Naturopathic Doctor help me?

Naturopathic Doctors offer treatments that support the body’s ability to heal itself, by addressing the causes of the symptoms. For children or the elderly, from acute to chronic illness, whether physical or psychological, Naturopathy may be right for you.


Call Dr. Jiwani at 604.679.9988 if you’re interested in:

  • Disease Prevention & Health Promotion
  • Addressing Unresolved Symptoms with seemingly Normal Clinic Lab Findings
  • Alternative Treatment Options for a Serious or Chronic Diagnosis
  • Improving Quality of Life for Serious and Life Threatening Diseases
  • Using Naturopathic Treatments to Counter the Side Effects of Drugs or Surgery used for an Existing Condition

Refer to the link, for a comprehensive list of Services & Conditions that Dr. Jiwani can help you with.

FAQ General Naturopathic: Can a Naturopathic Doctor prescribe pharmaceutical drugs?

In BC, most NDs are educated and licensed to prescribe a comprehensive scope of pharmaceutical medications. Additionally, naturopathic training includes both Pharmacology & Pharmacognosy, which is the interaction of drugs and botanical medicines. Most often pharmaceutical medications may be continued during the start of naturopathic treatments. As your health improves this naturally will minimize or eliminate the use of your medications, and your ND can work with your MD to help you achieve this. Dr. Jiwani has been certified with Pharmaceutical Prescriptive Authority since its inception. To find out if your BC ND is certified, check out the CNPBC public register.


FAQ General Naturopathic: Can a Naturopathic Doctor send me for laboratory tests?

Naturopathic Doctors in BC can send their patients to local labs for conventional tests that MDs typically perform, and are trained to interpret them.  Dr. Jiwani makes every effort to work with your MD to ensure you are receiving the best care from your MSP coverage possible.  More financial cutbacks with MSP are limiting MDs from past extensive testing, requiring patients to pay out of pocket through their Naturopathic Doctor to ensure patients are thoroughly evaluated as necessary. Most extended health insurances may subsidize these costs.


FAQ General Naturopathic: What will happen during my first visit seeing Dr. Jiwani?

Dr. Jiwani will spend as much time as she needs to review your medical history, health concerns, existing lab tests done by your MD, and assess your lifestyle.  From this she may determine what the potential causes of your symptoms are and discuss recommended treatment options to customize an individualized plan to optimize your health.


FAQ General Naturopathic: Is Insurance Coverage available for Naturopathic visits?

In BC, MSP will subsidize a limited patient population for a small fee per visit up to ten visits per year. These patients are required to pay for their service at the ND’s office up front and submit for MSP reimbursement. Many extended health insurance plans will reimburse patients for varying amounts per year, often including lab and diagnostic testing so it is critical to inquire into your specific plan. Some patients have a Health Spending Account covering certain naturopathic expenses up to 100%.


FAQ General Naturopathic: Are there Naturopathic Doctors who are also Medical Doctors?

Naturopathic Physicians are licensed to be primary health care providers, as leaders in Complementary Medicine. British Columbia requires doctors to be regulated by either the College of Physicians & Surgeons of BC or the College of Naturopathic Physicians of BC (CNPBC).  Just as Naturopathic Doctors bill for their visit fee, so must an MD charge patients for any alternative medicine or aesthetic medicine practice (e.g. IV Chelation, Botox, Fillers).


FAQ General Naturopathic: Can I still see my Medical Doctor while working with a Naturopathic Doctor?

There is a time and place for both types of doctors, and communication with both is ideal so your healthcare team can work in your best interest. Dr. Jiwani makes every effort to work with your MD to ensure you are receiving the best care from your MSP coverage possible.  More financial cutbacks with MSP are limiting MDs from past extensive testing, requiring patients to pay out of pocket through their Naturopathic Doctor to ensure patients are thoroughly evaluated as necessary. Most extended health insurances may subsidize these costs.


FAQ General Naturopathic: Are Naturopathic Doctors regulated in BC as Doctors?

British Columbia has registered Naturopathic Physicians allowing the profession to self-regulate since 1936. The fascination with medical technology has waned as more and more patients are dissatisfied with their existing healthcare system as they are sick of being sick, yet being found clinically normal. Patients are innately realizing that true health is beyond masking the symptoms, and when told nothing is wrong, know otherwise.  As more Canadians take initiative into their own healthcare, more patients are opting to see Naturopathic Physicians as their primary healthcare providers. Dr. Jiwani is here to empower you with the knowledge and tools to harness your body’s ability to heal itself and the power of nature to help. Call now for your free initial consultation (~30 mins) so together we can start your health journey. To verify if your BC Naturopathic Physician is licensed, check out the CNPBC public register.


FAQ General Naturopathic: Is Naturopathic Medicine safe & effective?

The science and art of Naturopathic Medicine has stood the test of time, existing in its many forms for centuries. Scientific advances have allowed our society to access the best that nature has, enhanced with technology. More than ever, increasing studies validating naturopathic treatments only highlight the decades of its clinical effectiveness. The primary Canadian naturopathic medical school, the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) and other institutions are publishing extensive research about this in renown peer-reviewed scientific journals. The key principles of naturopathic medicine determine its safety and cost-effectiveness. The philosophy to “first do no harm” is reflective in the natural therapies that are strong enough to effect change with minimal to no side effects. Both aspects of prevention and treating the causes of symptoms reduce the occurrence and extent of chronic illness to minimize long term health care costs.

This information is for educational purposes only and does not advocate self-diagnosis.  Due to individual variability, consultation with a licensed health professional, such as a licensed naturopathic physician is highly recommended, prior to starting a natural treatment plan. For further information, see Terms of our Website.

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