What is naturopathic medicine?
Naturopathic medicine is a distinct system of primary health care that addresses the root causes of illness and promotes health and healing using natural therapies. Naturopathic physicians integrate standard medical diagnostics with a broad range of natural therapies.
What education and training do naturopathic doctors have?
Dr. Stephanie Peltz has 8 years of post-secondary education including:
4 years of undergraduate university including premedical prerequisites in biology, psychology, English, general chemistry, organic chemistry and biochemistry. She has a bachelor of science from McGill University.
4 years of naturopathic medical education from the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine (1 of 6 recognized schools in North America). The academic portion of the program includes 3500 classroom hours, while the clinical training consists of 1200 hours in the teaching clinic (treating patients under the supervision of a licensed naturopathic physician) and 300 hours observing naturopathic doctors in their own practices.
How are naturopathic doctors regulated?
To be licensed to practice naturopathic medicine in BC you must:
- Have completed at least 3 years of liberal arts or sciences at a university.
- Have graduated from a recognized naturopathic medicine education program.
- Have successfully completed rigorous professional board exams, both written and oral.
- Have your application accepted by the College of Naturopathic Physicians of BC.
When would someone go to a naturopathic doctor?
Naturopathic doctors are unique in health care because their training combines conventional medical sciences and diagnostic tools with a broad scope of therapies. The ability to integrate different philosophies and practices gives us many tools to work with. This allows greater flexibility and creativity when approaching complex subjects like health and disease.
Common reasons people visit a naturopathic doctor:
- They experience a major health crisis and want to explore their treatment options
- They are fed up with being sick or in pain
- They are overwhelmed by the growing mountain of health products they think they should be taking and want a professional to help them prioritize
- They want a comprehensive disease prevention program
- They choose to have a naturopathic doctor as their family doctor
Dr. Peltz encourages people to see an ND before their health is in crisis. Minor health problems are symptoms of imbalance - a warning sign from your body that it is not functioning as well as it could. The earlier you address a health concern, the easier it is to treat.
Do I need a referral to see a naturopathic doctor?
No, you do not need a referral. Word of mouth is often the best referral system. To learn more about naturopathic medicine please visit the British Columbia Naturopathic Association website at www.bcna.ca.
Is naturopathic medicine covered under MSP or extended healthcare plans?
Many extended healthcare plans cover naturopathic medicine visits and laboratory testing fees. Patients are encouraged to learn the details of their specific plan. Also, MSP may pay a portion of the visit fees if you qualify for premium assistance under the medical services plan of BC. Inquire when you book your appointment.
What is the difference between naturopathy and homeopathy?
Homeopathy is a specific system of medicine that uses diluted potencies of natural substances to stimulate the body to heal itself. Naturopathy is a medical practice that integrates a wide variety of therapies, including homeopathy, to treat the cause of an individual’s symptoms.
Why would I see a naturopathic doctor when I can get advice about natural products from my health food store?
Naturopathic doctors are primary care physicians. This means they base recommendations on a diagnosis or probable cause of a problem, rather than symptoms. For example, fatigue can be caused by hundreds of different factors – from sleep disturbance to anemia to cancer. A naturopathic doctor considers medical history, physical exams and appropriate laboratory testing in their assessment to determine what treatment will be the most appropriate, safe and effective. Treatments are individualized and take into account your whole history. A further benefit of consulting a naturopathic doctor is that your response to therapies are monitored and adjusted as needed.
What is the difference between professional brand supplements and those I can purchase in the health food/grocery store?
Supplements are not all made alike. They differ in purity of ingredients, freshness of ingredients, bio-availability of ingredients, and whether they include added fillers/binders. Dr. Peltz stocks a small dispensary of items that are only available by prescription from a licensed naturopathic physician. She has researched and chosen brands that demonstrate superior manufacturing and quality standards.