A naturopath is a health care professional who specializes in the use of natural remedies for health promotion. This form of medicine is called Naturopathy and it focuses on principles and beliefs that the body has the capacity to heal itself and it also includes the use of authorized natural therapeutic treatments like homeopathy, acupuncture, herbal medicine as well as modern medicine like ozone therapy, colon hydrotherapy, etc.
To become a naturopath in Ontario, you will need to first complete an undergraduate college degree then enroll in a four-year naturopathic medical program after which you register with the College of Naturopaths of Ontario to get licensed to practice.
The job of a naturopathic doctor is to diagnose, treat and prevent diseases using a method of practice based on an individual’s healing capacity. A naturopath employs a holistic approach and uses a wide range of non-invasive techniques e.g. herbal medicine, nutrition, dietary advice, counseling techniques, kinesiology, integrated biodynamics, etc. to prevent illness and also restore the health of their patients.
The regular responsibilities of a naturopathic doctor include:
- Educate the patient about health care management
- Diagnose condition
- Advise patients on the benefits of therapeutic exercise and nutritional medicine
- Administer treatment and therapy
- Prescribe and administer natural medicines
- Perform minor surgical procedures
- Prescribe synthetic drugs under the supervision of medical doctors, etc.
How to become a naturopath in Ontario?
The requirements needed to become a naturopath vary as some states require that you are licensed under a regulatory board while others don’t require a license. However, to become a naturopath anywhere, you will need to have a college degree in pre-medical science before applying to a naturopath medical program.
If you are looking into becoming a naturopath in Ontario, here are the steps you should follow:
1. Acquire a high school diploma
To begin your journey as a naturopathic doctor in Ontario, you have to get basic formal education and complete the Ontario secondary school diploma (OSSD) with at least an average grade or higher in English, math, biology, physics, and chemistry as this serves as a pre-requisite for admission into a college.
2. Enroll in a pre-medical college program
A Naturopathic Doctor, like any other doctor, dentist or chiropractor must first earn an undergraduate degree at a university in pre-medical science with a cumulative CGPA of 2.5 or higher. You will need to offer courses in biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, psychology, and English so as to be able to meet the requirements of the naturopathic medical program.
In addition to the mandatory prerequisite courses, it will also be beneficial to complete some additional courses including anatomy, cell biology, ecology, statistics, environmental studies, genetics, leadership, nutrition, etc.
3. Finish the required naturopathic medical program
After successful completion of the pre-medical college program, you will need to enroll in a four-year naturopathic medical program accredited by the Council in Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME) to become a qualified naturopathic doctor.
To enroll in this program, you will need to show proof of completion of the pre-medical program, meeting the admission prerequisites, and also proficiency in English if your premed program was not completed in English.
This program educates students on basic sciences and also holistic and nontoxic approaches with a strong focus on disease prevention and wellbeing optimization. You will also be taught nutrition, homeopathy, botanical medicine, psychology, and counseling.
After completion of this four-year program, you will be awarded an “N.D” degree or Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine. However, you can still be a Naturopathic doctor in Ontario even if you did not enroll in the naturopathic medical program. You will need to be assessed if you have a combination of education and experience that has been deemed substantially equivalent to a CNME accredited education, this is called the Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) program.
4. Apply for licensing
Although becoming a naturopath in other states might not require a license, you will need to be licensed to practice naturopathy in Ontario. The process of licensing is in three steps and is regulated by the College of Naturopaths Ontario. The three-step process is:
- STEP 1. Pre-registration- here, you will have to sign up for a college account and also submit details about your personal information and also the name of the CNME accredited naturopathic institution after which you will be required to complete an entry to practice exam (ETP). These ETP exams make you eligible for registration and the information provided in the form will be reviewed and approved within 3-5 working days.
- STEP 2. Application for Registration- after you have received approval from step 1, you will need to pay an application fee of about $275 and submit proof of criminal record, CPR certification, and information about any other professional registrations you have.
- STEP 3. Issuance of a certification of registration- after your application has been fully evaluated by the college of naturopaths Ontario, you will be required to pay an annual registration fee, submit proof of professional liability insurance, and submit a recent passport photo after which you will be issued a licensing certificate and can now practice ad a Naturopath in Ontario.
Requirements to become a naturopath in Ontario
- Must have a high school diploma
- Must complete a university degree
- Must complete a four-year naturopathic medical program or a prior learning assessment and recognition program
- Must sit for and pass the entry to practice exam
- Must register for certification under the college on naturopaths Ontario
How much does a naturopath earn in Ontario?
The average salary of a naturopath in Ontario is about $76,369 per year although, senior-level workers earn higher (about $100,162 a year) because of their experience level while entry-level workers with less than 3 years experience earn an average of $56,155 a year. Also, naturopaths who own their own hospitals tend to earn more than others.
Are naturopaths in demand in Ontario?
Yes, naturopaths are in demand in Ontario. The increase in demand for naturopathic doctors is due to the increase in recognition and acceptance of high-quality natural health care in society today and also due to advancement in naturopathy which makes more people seek and benefit from naturopathic medical care more than ever before thereby increasing the employment opportunities for naturopaths to meet this demand.