Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Naturopathic Doctors and Homeopathic Practitioners: What Is The Difference?

Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors (OAND)

The terms homeopath and naturopath are frequently used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. These two fields of medicine have strong distinctions. The most notable differences include education, the unique style of practice adopted by each practitioner, and provincial licensing regulations.

Training and Disciplines

With over 3,000 hours of classroom training and 1,200 hours of supervised clinical experience, naturopathic doctors receive extensive training in a variety of disciplines including:
A homeopathic practitioner is trained only in homeopathy, while a naturopathic doctor has the training, education and expertise to design an overall treatment program that draws on a number of therapies, including homeopathic remedies.
In Ontario, naturopathic doctors offer alternative avenues for access to primary health care and health promotion. Naturopathic doctors can provide early diagnosis of, and treatment for, many health-related conditions. With the ability to requisition blood tests, perform physical examinations and order additional lab testing, naturopathic doctors can obtain additional insight into an individual patient’s health that surpasses the homeopathic practitioner’s scope. Licensed naturopathic doctors may also provide intravenous vitamin nutrition.


What to expect during a visit with a homeopathic practitioner

An initial interview with a classical homeopath usually takes up to two hours. The practitioner will ask you for detailed information about your physical, mental, and emotional health, as well as your personal likes and dislikes. This helps your homeopath understand your unique individuality. Of particular interest to your homeopath are your individual reactions to the external world, such as temperature, weather, food, etc. Your homeopath will also search for factors that may have contributed to or caused your illness, including stress, shock, traumas, or perhaps family history.


What to expect during a visit with a naturopathic doctor

Your first visit with a naturopathic doctor may be one hour or more. Your naturopath will take an extensive patient history eliciting information about your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health before performing a complaint-oriented physical exam. If required, your naturopathic doctor may then suggest further specialized testing including blood tests. By using one or more of the disciplines (clinical nutrition, acupuncture, botanical medicine, Asian medicine, physical medicine, lifestyle counselling and homeopathy) your naturopathic doctor, with your input, will develop a personalized treatment plan to help you achieve your health goals.



Homeopathic practitioners are not regulated in the province of Ontario, while naturopathic doctors are.


Working with your health care team

Because naturopathic doctors are highly educated primary care providers who integrate standard medical diagnostics with a broad range of natural therapies, they have become an integral part of health care teams.