Saturday, November 22, 2008

Naturopathic Prescribing Rights

Estimates show that 20-30% of the Canadian population does not have a family MD. Accordingly, Naturopathic Doctors have an opportunity to provide primary health care to many people who do not have a family doctor. With talk of a new version of Bill C-51 being reintroduced to parliament, this position of primary care provider may become even more integral to naturopaths over the next several years.

Consequently, CCNM, the Ontario Association of ND's (OAND) the Canadian Association of ND's (CAND) and the Board of Directors of Drugless Therapies-Naturopaths (BDDT-N) recently collaborated to submit a proposal to the Health Professions Regulatory Advisory Council (HPRAC) requesting ND's privilege to prescribe drugs. If successful, this will ensure botanicals and other restricted substances will always be attainable and may include some emergency prescription pharmaceuticals as well. Consequently, with careful planning, this is yet another reason for growth of the profession.

You can read the submission online at or HPRAC.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Maintaining Naturopathic Standards

Naturopathic Medicine in Canada is continually growing and gaining public support as a viable method of true health care. This trust begins with the quality of Naturopathic Doctors. Today representatives from the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education visited our school. The goal of this council is to provide the public with a standard of quality assurance in regards to the education of Naturopathic Doctors.

In an open discussion, students expressed their concerns about CCNM including the tremendous intensity of our 2nd year program as well as some disappointment that certain areas of wholistic medicine were not included to a greater extent in the curriculum. Many ideas were put forward including making naturopathy a five year program or including the opportunity for specialization. It was apparent that it is difficult to please everyone's expectations as each person has a different context. In regards to including even more areas of wholistic medicine in the curriculum, our program is already really packed over the 4 years. However, I can certainly understand that my colleagues want to learn about "energetics" etc. in the safe environment of an academic setting because there is so much misinformation out there.

As a student, I take pride in the fact that every step of naturopathy is evaluated and continually improved when necessary. I recognize the effort it takes to guide the focus of our education. Naturopaths in Canada are Doctors and as such have an education that prepares us for work as a primary care practitioner (although one may choose to specialize). Accordingly, I value the efforts of the Council of Naturopathic Medical Education which continures to increase the strength and integrity of the profession.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Naturopathic Movies IX

Side Effects

This movie stars Katherine Heigl (of Grey's Anatomy) in a documentary meets chick-flick style film. The plot is closely based on the true story of the writer/director's 10 years experience as a drug sales rep. The movie shows how a 23 year old political science major was not at all qualified to "educate" doctors on the pharmaceutical drugs that she sold and yet she became the top selling rep in her company. There were several excellent scenes in the movie that brought some issues of contemporary medicine to the forefront.

This small independent film offers a humorous view of a tremendously unethical problem. Here is The Trailer.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Naturopathic Movies VIII

Here are 2 movies that reframe the process of natural childbirth in a positive light:

1. The Business of Being Born

Check out for more information and take a look at one of my earlier entries on Childbirth if you are interested.

2. Orgasmic Birth

I found the movie title initially shocking but the documentary is quite fantastic. Check out for a full movie review.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Quote of the Month

"Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint."

Mark Twain