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Naturopathic physicians (N.D.'s) are general practitioners trained as specialists in natural medicine. They are educated in the conventional medical sciences, but they are not medical doctors (M.D.'s).

Naturopathic physicians treat disease and restore health using therapies from the sciences of clinical nutrition, herbal medicine, homeopathy, physical medicine, exercise therapy, counseling, acupuncture and hydrotherapy.

Some Naturopathic Doctors receive extra training and licensing to perform IV therapy as part of their practice. They tailor these approaches to the needs of an individual patient.

Naturopathic medicine is effective in treating most health problems, whether acute or chronic. Naturopathic physicians cooperate with all other branches of medical science, referring patients to other practitioners for diagnosis or treatment when appropriate.

In practice, naturopathic physicians perform physical examinations, laboratory testing, nutritional and dietary assessments, metabolic analysis, allergy testing, X-ray examinations, and other diagnostic tests.

They are the only primary care physicians clinically trained in the use of a wide variety of natural therapeutics. They combine and tailor these treatments to the needs of the individual based on a philosophy that acknowledges the patient as a participant.

The naturopathic physician has a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (N.D.) degree from a four-year graduate level naturopathic medical college. In Canada, naturopathic physicians must pass North American board examination, and their actions are subject to review by the Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy – Naturopathy in Ontario.

Currently Naturopathy falls under the archaic Drugless Practitioners Act (DPA). In 2008 a decision was made to include Naturopathic Medicine under the more updated Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA).

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