In praise of naturopathic doctors
Dr. Sonya Nobbe, Artsci’02, Kingston, ON, writres in praise of naturopathic doctors.
Re: “Piece missing in medical school curriculum?”, Issue #2-2011, p. 3
I was thrilled and relieved to see the letter from Dr. David Schleich, Ed’77, in which he praises Queen’s School of Medicine for implementing an advanced clinically-focused curriculum, but writes: “Queen’s students will meet NDs [Naturopathic Doctors] in droves in the coming years and will wonder why heterodox medical systems got such short shrift even in the curriculum and teaching methodologies of progressive schools such as Queen’s”. Indeed, in the same issue as this letter is an announcement in Job News of a Com’03 grad starting a Naturopathic medical practice in Toronto.
I started my Naturopathic practice in Kingston four years ago, following four years of graduate study in Toronto and a biology degree from Queen’s. My practice grew into Kingston’s only large-scale multi-disciplinary complementary medicine facility of eight health professionals, yet I struggle with the misperceptions of complementary and alternative medicine by mainstream health practitioners. NDs have been licensed for 85 years and our scope of practice includes many of the same controlled acts awarded to MDs, including diagnosis. Our expansive scope enables us to effectively treat all illness, including chronic diseases that cost our healthcare system billions of dollars. Why is it that many Queen’s medical students have not heard of an ND?
More than half of all Canadians use some form of complementary medicine, and our busy waiting room indicates that Kingston is no different. Integrative medicine, in which we combine the strengths of multiple health perspectives, is the future of medicine, and Queen’s School of Medicine could be a leader here if the school’s curricula planners accept the opportunity soon. I warmly invite students and faculty to contact myself or the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors to explore the real potential of collaborating with other licensed primary care practitioners.
The letter writer is an ND and is the owner of Kingston Integrated Healthcare. She can be contacted via email at drSonya@kihc.ca.– Ed.