As a primary health care profession, naturopathy is extremely safe, as indicated by malpractice data, insurance statistics, and favourable safety records. Natural, however, does not mean harmless, so skill and knowledge are required as with any diagnosis and treatment of health conditions.
Naturopathic doctors have the same science training as medical doctors; we study pharmacology, we dissect cadavers, and we understand the pathophysiology of disease. Both are doctors. Naturopathic doctors complete 3 or 4 years of pre-med training (usually achieving a bachelor’s degree) and then have 4 years of training at an accredited naturopathic medical college. NDs must successfully complete provincial board exams prior to being granted licensure. NDs in Alberta are licensed and regulated by the College of Naturopathic Doctors of Alberta.
The difference between Naturopathic and conventional doctors lies in our philosophy and treatment: Essentially, we seek to find the root cause of disease. A traditional medical approach primarily uses pharmaceuticals and surgery to treat diseases and relieve symptoms; naturopathic doctors focus on treating the whole person, using a number of different modalities (nutrition, acupuncture, homeopathy, etc.) to treat the causes of disease and support the healing power of the body.