Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Naturopathic Doctor (ND)?
An ND is a primary healthcare provider who uses an individualized patient-centred approach to keep the body in optimal health and to prevent and treat many conditions using a variety of therapeutic modalities. Naturopathic Doctors achieve this by not only focusing on the symptoms a patient presents with, but by using those symptoms as tools to find the root cause of disease. NDs use a wide range of evidence-based natural and conventional treatment options which can include diet and lifestyle changes, botanical medicine, supplements & nutraceuticals, traditional chinese medicine, and acupuncture.

To become an ND, a candidate must complete a bachelors degree at an accredited institution prior to applying to the Doctor of Naturopathy Degree. The doctor of naturopathy degree is a four year postgraduate program which includes studies in biomedical sciences, clinical sciences, and naturopathic therapeutics, as well as a year internship where students treat patients under the supervision of a licensed ND. Along with the successful completion of the naturopathic program, all graduates must also complete two North American board exams, NPLEX 1 & NPLEX 2, along with another examination specific to the province in which they wish to practice.

What is Naturopathic Medicine?
Naturopathic Medicine focuses on the underlying root cause of chronic and acute disease and aims to treat and prevent disease using natural evidence-based therapies along with the body's abilities to heal itself. Naturopathic care involves conventional diagnostic techniques (laboratory testing and physical assessments) and treatments which focus on the whole person, while utilizing minimally invasive therapies.

Are Naturopathic Doctors covered by OHIP?

Naturopathic Doctors are not covered by OHIP, however, many employers now include naturopathic services in their employee benefits packages which can be covered with the submission of a receipt (signed with the ND's registration number) to the insurance company.

What should I expect during a naturopathic visit with Dr. Laura Pipher, ND?

The first visit with Dr. Laura is an initial intake (60 minutes in length) where information about any current or past health issues will be discussed and relevant questions will be asked in order to gather an entire picture of your individual health. After all relevant information is gathered, you may be asked for recent blood work, or other tests if Dr. Laura feels this is necessary to complete her assessment. Treatment options will be discussed and Dr. Laura will recommend when follow up should occur and how long this follow up visit should be.  It is a good idea to have all intake forms filled out before your appointment ( See the "fees and forms" page- these can be brought in or emailed to in order to make the most of your initial visit. If you have any recent blood work, or other test results, it is a good idea to bring those (or a copy) along with a list of current supplements and medications. 

Can Naturopathic Doctors order the same tests Medical Doctors?

Yes and No.

Naturopathic Doctors are able to send patients for blood work, however, since they are not covered under OHIP, the lab tests will not be either. Patients have the option of paying out of pocket in order to obtain lab work, or having their blood work processed elsewhere. Naturopathic doctors often work alongside a variety of health care providers in order to ensure patients are able to receive the highest quality of care possible.


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