Frequently Asked Questions
Naturopathic Medicine is a distinct system of primary health care that blends modern scientific knowledge with traditional natural forms of medicine.
Naturopathic medicine is the art and science of disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention using various safe natural therapies. Dr. Smith offers a complete family practice and thus sees a full range of conditions.
A naturopathic doctor is a primary care practitioner that seeks to restore and maintain optimum health in their patients by emphasizing nature’s inherent self-healing process. A naturopathic doctor views the individual in their entirity including the physiological, structural, psychological, social, spiritual, environmental and lifestyle factors affecting health.
In the naturopathic paradigm, symptoms are seen as signs of improper functioning at a deeper level and disease as a process on a continuum, rather than as an entity. The goal then, is to treat the underlying cause of the disease rather than suppress symptoms. Accordingly, treatments are created for the individual not the disease, and not on the generality of symptoms.
The human body is intricate, intelligent and complex, and responds to thoughts, emotions, foods, physical trauma and the environment, and naturopathic doctors consider all factors when taking a case and building a treatment plan.
What’s the cancellation policy?
At Health Associates the first visit you miss is a “get out of jail free card”, but after that we charge 50% of the cost of the visit for missed appointments.
If you were coming in for an IV you will be charged in full because we must throw the vitamins out.
Please call us if you have any questions or concerns regarding this issue.
What do Naturopathic Doctors treat?
Naturopathic doctors integrate standard medical diagnostics with a broad range of natural therapies and treat the same conditions as a family doctor, including both acute concerns and chronic conditions for people of all ages. Running a family practice, there are a wide variety of conditions Dr. Smith treats, from the common cold/flu and musculoskeletal injuries, to serious neurological, autoimmune or chronic illnesses, to cancer. Treatments may be adjunctive to standard medical treatment or stand alone depending on what is indicated. Dr. Smith works in tandem with MDs and other qualified health care practitioners and does not require a referral.
If you are taking prescription medications, NDs are trained in pharmacology and to know interactions between prescription medications and natural therapies. Subsequently, Dr. Smith can safely prescribe natural treatments that enhance the effectiveness, reduce the side effects and rebalance any deficiency from your prescription medications. Dr. Smith will never recommend that you stop taking any prescription medications unless she has consent from your medical doctor.
NDs are currently the only health care practitioners in Canada who have the expertise to properly manage interactions between pharmaceutical and over-the-counter drugs, botanical medicines, and various supplements. This is of huge importance because people are increasingly utilizing natural medicines and are unaware of the interactions that may be occurring, and their medical doctors are not trained in this area of medicine. If you are currently using both pharmaceutical and natural medicines, it is wise to see an ND to ensure both safety and effectiveness.
What training do NDs have?
NDs obtain comprehensive and rigorous training in an educational structure quite similar to that of medical doctors. NDs require four years of post-secondary education including pre-med courses, plus four years of full-time graduate level study at an approved accredited college of naturopathic medicine. Upon graduating they must complete North American licensing board examinations in order to apply for a license to practice. In Ontario, this is with the Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy – Naturopathy.
In Canada, the naturopathic medical profession’s infrastructure includes accredited educational institutions, professional licensing, national standards of practice, participation in many federal health committee initiatives, and a commitment to state-of-the-art scientific research of naturopathic therapies.
Naturopathy vs. Homeopathy?
Naturopathic doctors are general practitioners of natural medicine and are trained to employ a range of therapeutic modalities such as clinical nutrition, acupuncture and Chinese medicine, botanical medicine, physical medicine, lifestyle counseling and homeopathy. Homeopaths practice homeopathy exclusively. To read more about the theraputic modalities Dr. Smith uses, go to the therapies page.
What happens in the 1st visit?
Prior to the first visit, you are required to fill out an intake and consent form. Please go to the New Patient Formspage to download what you need.
The first visit is 1 – 1.5 hours depending on the case, and is this long because of the amount of information that is collected to commence assessment. Dr. Smith will do the following:
- A thorough intake including current concerns, past conditions, family history and a review of systems
- A complaint-oriented physical exam or complete physical, if indicated
- Order lab work if necessary
- An initial individualized treatment plan that incorporates individual or various treatment modalities, as indicated
Acute walk-ins are 15 minutes, and follow-ups are 30 minutes, but for times & fees of the various types of visits and services please contact reception. The hours Dr. Smith is available are 8am-7pm, Monday – Friday.
Is this covered by OHIP?
Naturopathic medicine is not covered by OHIP, however most extended health care plans do cover the cost of seeing an ND such as SunLife, Blue Cross, Great-West Life, Green Shield, London Life and many others. Call your insurance provider and ask if you have naturopathic and/or acupuncture coverage. If you do not, please encourage them to consider offering coverage for naturopathic medicine because there are increasing demands from the public and they will eventually bring it on board.