How To Become a Naturopathic Doctor

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Intro: What do you want to be when you grow up?

CV: The word “doctor” is Latin in origin, and it actually means teacher. And that’s because they’re an educator.

Second Intro: This is How to

CV: I’m Christina Vlahopoulos. I’m a naturopathic doctor, and I practice out of Kingston Integrated Healthcare.

What excites me most about the profession, is when I have a person who comes to see me and they’ve gone through years of a condition or aliment or they feel a certain way [and then after they receive treatment from me they say] “I feel so much better.” That’s really what excites me.

[Education to become a naturopathic doctor]

It’s 8 years; 4 years of naturopathic medicine, and 4 years of undergrad. I guess the obstacle is specifically the education itself. In the second year we had exams everyday, 5 days a week for 3 weeks straight. So, it really is a question of endurance. You really have to make sure you’re taking care of yourself while you are going through the education.

In undergrad, people take 5 courses maybe 6 per semester. At the Naturopathic College you’re taking anywhere from 7,8,9. Not only taking the didactic portion, or the in class time, but also the practicum portion. It really felt right when I got to the school, and when I started doing the program. Probably by my second year I really felt comfortable. And [felt like], “this is it, I’m home.” When you’re done, it’s really a phenomenal feeling.

Why [did I] become a naturopathic doctor?

Growing up in a family where we used more alternative forms of therapy, my dad using an onion pulp-ice on his foot for instance, and my mom using potatoes and handkerchief around her head for headache, it made sense when I found out about the school, and when I found out about the college. Having an interest in biology and environmentalism, the two sort of fit together with respect to naturopathic medicine because [naturopathic medicine] looks at the whole body.

[Difference between conventional medical doctors and naturopathic doctors]

I guess the biggest difference between conventional medical doctors and naturopathic doctors is naturopathic doctors go for root cause or getting a better understanding as to why a person is exhibiting the symptoms and not just treating the symptoms themselves.
I would do absolutely nothing differently. This is exactly where I would be.

Ending: What do you want to be when you grow up?

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  1. what makes you so unhappy that you hate on natural doctors?? everyone has a difference in opinion . frankly it concerns me that you "dark" believe non holistic is the only way to heal people. obviously you haven't researched how it also harms people …such as addictions caused due to prescription drugs cough cough. both natural and not are important to human health and individual needs. 😉

  2. Real doctor (MD) in training here. We treat the whole body and all symptoms we have a much better understanding of the body and systems than NDs and our training is far more challenging. 4 year undergrad, 4 years of med school and 4-7 years of training afterwards.

    You can trust medical science or a placebo. Your choice. 

  3. Before anyone gets confused into thinking going to a pretend "medical school" that's "accredited" by a pretend "accreditation board" with a very unreliable history and then getting "licensed" by a pretend "licensing board" qualifies someone as being a knowledgeable "doctor", it's important to actually do some research.

    Naturopathic "medical" schools skim the surface of basic and clinical sciences, and while it looks like they're learning the same thing as real physicians, their classes are full of pseudoscience while they pretend they understand the "true" causes of illness and "best" remedies. 

    I won't tell people to never go to a "naturopathic healer" because the placebo effect is amazingly powerful and they might be able to at least help your nutrition and do some very basic psychological counseling, but just please don't get duped into thinking these healers are physicians with anywhere near the amount of knowledge and deep understanding of the human body as real physicians have. The only thing that separates these "naturopathic medical schools" from your average diploma mill is that they actually require you to attend class and they *sometimes* enforce grading and licensing policies. They don't adhere to proper science, they don't actually practice medicine (though their title of "naturopathic doctors" are legally protected in 16 US states and in Canada), and they don't take the same classes or tests as real physicians (despite the classes and tests having very similar names).

    Here's a very thorough review of what naturopathic doctors claim vs what they really learn and do:

  4. My understanding is that the thing we have the most control over is our diet and general lifestyle. Eating primarily a leafy greens, fruits and vegetable, would eliminate many of the "disorders" that are so common today.

  5. glasses are but an extension to the eyes when they have become dull enough through age or genetic instances. there s nothing wrong with that. As for drugs, we all know many of them are derived from plants. They may be "magic" bullets in the form of pharmaceuticals, but indeed, the whole is greater then its parts. your rebuttal :

  6. So as long as the N.D. obtained their degree from an accredited university, you can be well sure that they are incredibly intellectual and that they have earned the title of Doctor. It takes at minimum 8 years of studying chemistry, anatomy and physiology, biology, biochemistry, nutrition, exercise sciences and other sciences in order to become a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine.
    If you want to know what schools are accredited, google aanmc

  7. Hey man, I know where you get that stereotype from, but you're confusing a Doctor of Naturopathic medicine with someone who just claims that they're a naturopathic or someone who got a certificate of naturopathy. They are entirely different. I'm pursuing a degree to become a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, or an N.D. and I'm currently in biochemical science courses. You have to take organic chemistry and analytical chemistry, algebra, trig, and calc, along with a myriad science-based courses.

  8. Really sorry to hear that you feel that way. There is enough evidence to prove this notion false however. Though there are charlatans in every profession.

  9. How to become a naturopathic "doctor"… Step 1: have a functioning IQ of no more than 75 and no less than 20…Step 2… Get good at conning the sick and elderly with treatments that dont actually work (start with snake oils, move up to homeopathy) …Step 3… be intellectully unable to tackle or even understand such topics as (but not lmtd. to) : upper math, biology, organic chemistry, and anatomy. Now your all ready to put on your lab coat costume and play doctor!

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