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What is a Naturopathic Doctor?
Areas of Training

The Naturopathic Medical program encompasses basic medical sciences, naturopathic principles and therapeutics and 1200 hours of supervised clinical experience. We must pass two sets of provincial licensing board exams and maintain ongoing continuing education.


To obtain a naturopathic medical credential (ND) that qualifies us to sit for licensing examination, we  must have the following:


  • Prerequisites including three years of pre-medical sciences at a University with a cumulative grade point average 3.00 on a four point scale. Prerequisite courses: biology, biochemistry, chemistry, organic chemistry, introductory psychology and humanities.

  • Successfully complete a 4-year-full time program in an accredited school of Naturopathic Medicine that includes more than 4,500 hours of classroom training and 1,500 hours of supervised clinical experience.

  • Pass NPLEX board exams that are written after the 2nd year and 4th year of study. NPLEX is the standard examination used by all licensing jurisdictions for Naturopathic doctors in North America.

  • Meet the Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits as required by the provincial regulatory boards on an ongoing basis.

As Naturopathic Doctors, we undergo training similar to medical doctors, plus, the naturopathic disciplines. The four areas of training in the four year, full-time Naturopathic Medicine curriculum are:


  • Basic Sciences - This area of study includes anatomy, physiology, histology, microbiology, biochemistry, immunology, pharmacology and pathology.

  • Clinical Disciplines - Diagnostic medicine areas of study are physical and clinical diagnosis, differential and laboratory diagnosis, radiology, naturopathic assessment and orthopaedics.

  • Naturopathic Disciplines - There are six major disciplines that define the areas of naturopathic practice. Each discipline is a distinct area of practice and includes both diagnostic principles and practices as well as therapeutic skills and techniques. They include: clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, homeopathic medicine, hydrotherapy, naturopathic manipulation and lifestyle counselling.

  • Clinical Experience - All students must complete 1,500 hours of clinical requirements and demonstrate proficiency in all aspects of Naturopathic Medicine prior to graduation.


There are many individuals practicing under similar titles that are not Licensed Naturopathic Doctors and do not have the training required to diagnose and treat patients. Such titles often include Natural Doctors, Natural Medical Doctors or Holistic Doctor. Don’t be afraid to ask to see the Doctors credentials and registration and/or license number.  The 4 Naturopathic Doctors in NL are all members of the CAND.

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