As a Naturopathic Doctor, I’m very happy to see how the awareness and understanding of Naturopathic Medicine, and how it can help the general population, has increased so greatly over the years. That being said, there are still some who don’t know much about what we do, who we help, or why someone would benefit from our services. Maybe you, yourself don’t know these answers, or you see a Naturopathic Doctor but have difficulty describing the benefits to friends or family. Either way, below are some common questions or areas of confusion I hope to clear up!
T or F: Naturopathic Doctors can order lab tests.
True! In fact, some people come to see us just for this very reason! When evaluating a patient’s health concerns, we will use lab testing as indicated to best assess the cause of their symptoms. Some patients also appreciate that we can run lab tests that their MD may not recommend (often since they have certain protocols for testing with an OHIP model). Also, we have access to more comprehensive tests that look at health more holistically which can be quite useful to evaluate challenging health issues (such as food intolerance testing and comprehensive stool analysis, to name a few).
T or F: Naturopathic Doctors are generalists/primary care providers
True (with some exceptions)! All Naturopathic Doctors are trained to address a wide range of chronic and acute health concerns, as well as preventative medicine. Some Naturopathic Doctors choose to have a special focus in a certain area of medicine. But for the most part, you can think of us like your family doctor, but with a slightly different (more holistic and natural) approach. Some of my patients even choose to see me for regular annual check ups as their primary doctor.
T or F: Naturopathic Doctors are expensive
True and False, depending on your viewpoint… Yes, we do have to charge for our services (it’s our way of making a living and paying for our med school bills), but our services are often quite affordable for our patients. Naturopathic visits are covered by most medical benefits packages, so if this is you, your visits could be free (or very cheap)! Also, most of my patients are sent home with a treatment plan right from the first visit, so for the few odd visits you may require to get your health on the right track, the investment is financially worthwhile.
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