Friday, August 3, 2012

Not just any Airdrie Naturopath

Last Wednesday's announcement by Alberta's health minister brought Naturopaths back into the spotlight in Alberta - at least until Canada's Olympic medals diverted the media's attention.  Yes, naturopathic doctors are now regulated under Alberta's Health Professions Act which now requires any person who calls themselves a "Naturopath" to have completed the correct schooling and also pass licensing exams. And, I'm very happy to be distinguished by this new regulation. 

What is still surprising to me is how some media still present naturopathic medicine to the public.  The National Post began its article on the new regulation by stating, "Homeopathy, chelation therapy and vitamin injections will soon be regulated procedures in the province of Alberta, which is rapidly becoming more friendly to alternative medicines that have little or no scientific backing."  Then, after acknowledging the extensive schooling required by ND's, the same article states, "almost without exception, [ND's] were advising controversial therapies and techniques such as homeopathy, vitamin supplements, colon cleanses, ozone therapy, hair analysis, chelation therapy and herbal remedies that insert lavages into the nasal canal."

Wow! Is this really what the "mainstream" Canadian public thinks naturopathic doctors do?!!  A brief read through the comments below the National Post article demonstrates how polar (and sadly misinformed) the public is about health care and this great disparity really doesn't do anyone any good.  Yes, not all naturopathic doctors are equal but that is a human characteristic that goes across any profession.

A student from the Arizona school (SCMN) was preceptoring at my clinic last week and reminded me that until ND's value themselves as more than just a "naturopath" and accept the responsibility that comes with Naturopathic Physician, it will be hard for the mainstream public to let go of some ideas about ND's.  Point taken.