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Naturopathic Doctor

Naturopathic doctors use natural, non-toxic healing therapies to treat patients' diseases and disorders.

  • Avg. Salary $84,358.00
  • Avg. Wage $43.63
  • Minimum Education 7 years post-secondary
  • Outlook N/A
Also Known As

Complimentary Medicine Practitioner, Naturopath, Doctor

NOC & Interest Codes
The Naturopathic Doctor is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Naturopaths
NOC code: 3123.3
INNOVATIVE

Interest in co-ordinating information obtained by observing, interviewing and examining patients to diagnose and treat disorders and illnesses with natural methods of healing such as herbal medicines, biochemical therapy, clinical nutrition, homeopathy and counselling

METHODICAL

Interest in operating equipment to perform acupuncture and hydrotherapy; and in performing acupressure, reflexology and spinal manipulation

SOCIAL

Interest in mentoring patients by prescribing treatments and diets that include natural foods and herbs, corrective exercises and other natural methods of healing

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Naturopathic doctors blend modern scientific knowledge with tradional and natural forms of treatment to support and stimulate the body's ability to heal itself and treat the underlying cause of disease. In general, they: 

  • address the physiological, structural, psychological, social, spiritual, environmental and lifestyle factors affecting the patient's health
  • diagnose and treat acute and chronic illness using a broad range of natural therapies
  • develop individual treatment plans
  • emphasize disease prevention and health promotion and encourage patients to take responsibility for their own health. 

To restore normal body function, naturopathic doctors look for the underlying causes of illness and disease such as:

  • nutritional deficiency
  • faulty posture
  • impurities in the air, water or food
  • sensitivities or intolerances (foods, chemicals)
  • toxic influences of chemicals, drugs and metals
  • inherited predispositions to disease
  • physical or psychological stresses
  • insufficient rest or recreation
  • unsupervised self-treatment
  • undiagnosed diseases, infections, organisms or imbalances.

Once they have identified the underlying causes of a patient's symptoms, naturopathic doctors develop an individualized treatment plan. Treatments may include:

  • botanical medicine
  • clinical nutrition
  • homeopathic medicine
  • acupuncture and oriental medicine 
  • lifestyle counselling
  • physical therapies (for example, massage, adjustment, hydrotherapy).

Naturopathic doctors refer patients to other health care practitioners when the patient requires treatment that is beyond their scope of practice (for example, surgery).

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Most naturopathic doctors work in private clinics. They are on their feet examining and treating patients for part of their working day and at a desk talking to patients and doing paperwork for part of the day. Some lifting (up to 10 kilograms) is required.

Naturopathic doctors may set their own hours. However, for the convenience of their patients, they often work some evenings and weekends.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Naturopathic doctors need the following characteristics:

  • the ability to establish rapport with patients and gain their trust and confidence
  • emotional strength and maturity
  • good communication skills.

They should enjoy gathering information by observing, interviewing and examining patients, providing naturopathic treatments and advising patients.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Training for a career as a naturopathic doctor requires several years of post-secondary education: a bachelor's degree with pre-med sciences followed by four years in an accredited Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine program. Many naturopathic doctors take additional post-graduate training in specific therapies such as intravenous therapy or chelation therapy.

There are two accredited Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine programs in Canada:

  • The Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicinein New Westminster, British Columbia. The entrance requirement is a bachelor's degree with a competitive average in the following courses: biochemistry, biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, psychology and the humanities.
  • The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto. The entrance requirement is a bachelor's degree with a competitive average in the following courses: general biology, physiology, organic chemistry (with lab), biochemistry, psychology and the humanities.

In the United States, the following five schools of naturopathic medicine offer ND programs:

These institutions should be consulted prior to registration in a pre-professional program to ensure that their entrance requirements will be met.

In Alberta, colleges and universities located throughout the province may offer the pre-professional courses required for admission to ND programs. Post-secondary entrance requirements vary depending on the institution and the program but, in general, include a high school diploma with an acceptable average in five appropriate Grade 12 subjects (for example, English Language Arts 30-1, Pure Math 30, Biology 30, Chemistry 30 and Physics 30).

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 08, 2016

To practice naturopathic medicine in regulated Canadian provinces and American states, graduates of  Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine programs must pass standardized licensing exams and register with appropriate provincial or state licensing boards.

Naturopathic Doctor

Naturopathic doctors blend modern scientific knowledge with tradional and natural forms of treatment to support and stimulate the body's ability to heal itself and treat the underlying cause of disease. 

Legislation

Under Alberta's Health Professions Act and Naturopaths Profession Regulation, registration with the College of Naturopathic Doctors of Alberta is mandatory if you meet identified competency requirements and provide professional services directly to the public, teach the practice of the profession to members or students of the profession, or supervise registered members or students who provide services to the public. Registered members who are authorized by the College may perform restricted activities specified in the Regulation. Only Regulated Members may call themselves naturopathic doctors, naturopathic practitioners, naturopaths or doctors of naturopathic medicine.

What You Need

Registration requires successful completion of: (1) an approved naturopathic program of studies and (2) approved examinations.  For official, detailed information about registration requirements, visit CNDA website or contact the CNDA. 

Working in Alberta

Naturopaths who are registered by and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for registration in Alberta if registered naturopaths in two juridictions have similiar responsibilities and competencies.  For more information see" What if I am already certified in another province or territory?" and the Alberta regulatory authority (below).

Contact Details

College of Naturopathic Practitioners of Alberta
813 14 St NW
Calgary, Alberta
Canada T2N 2A4 
Phone number: 403-266-2446
Fax number: 403-256-2433
Website: www.cnda.net

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Most naturopathic doctors set up private practices of their own or join clinics with other health care practitioners. Some naturopathic doctors are employed in related research and development, marketing, government, teaching or consulting positions.

As with other health professions, naturopathic practices take time to build and success depends on individual initiative, experience and ability.

Naturopathic doctors are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 3125: Other Professional Occupations in Health Diagnosing and Treating. In Alberta, 96% of people employed in this classification work in the Health Care and Social Assistance (PDF) industry.

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Naturopathic doctors in private practice are self-employed. Their incomes vary considerably depending on location, number of patient visits and the cost of running a private practice.

Naturopathic doctors are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 3125: Other professional occupations in health diagnosing and treating. 

According to the 2015 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Other professional occupations in health diagnosing and treating occupational group earned on average from $36.08 to $47.98 an hour. The overall average wage was $43.63 an hour. For more information, see the Other professional occupations in health diagnosing and treating wage profile.

 

Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Science
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
  • Health, Recreation and Human Services
    • Health Care Services
    • Human and Social Services
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Health Care and Medical Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 08, 2016

Alberta Association of Naturopathic Practitioners (AANP) website: www.naturopathic-alberta.com

Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (CAND) website: www.cand.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Apr 11, 2014. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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