FAQ

The following are a few of the most common queries about naturopathic medicine.

  1. What happens on the first visit?
  2. What training do licensed naturopathic doctors go through?
  3. Are naturopathic visits covered by B.C. Medical?
  4. How many times should I expect to see a Naturopathic Doctor in order to get better?
  5. Can NDs treat the same diseases as MDs?
  6. Can naturopathic physicians provide the same range of services as an MD?
  7. Can I still see an MD if I decide to also see a ND?
  8. What is the difference between naturopathic medicine and homeopathy?

1. What happens on the first visit?
Your first visit will take an hour or more and will include a very extensive patient history eliciting information about your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.  A complaint-oriented physical exam is performed and possible laboratory testing may be suggested.  A personalized treatment plan will address your health concerns and guide you towards achieving your goals.

2. A liscensed Naturopathic Doctor undergoes extensive training…
Naturopathic Doctors must complete a minimum of three years of pre-medical study at an accredited university. Following this, they embark on a four-year Naturopathic Medical Degree program at one of six accredited teaching institutions in North America. The first two years entail a standard medical school curriculum, while the latter 2 years branch into naturopathic disciplines. Finally a one year internship at the college’s clinic is required prior to completing the North American board certified exams. To be licensed, Naturopathic doctors must pass comprehensive oral and written government exams. Graduates from an accredited naturopathic college receive the designation Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND). NDs are also required to earn continuing education credits on an ongoing basis to maintain their registration and good standing with the regulatory body.

3. BC Medical and Extended Health Benefits:
At this time, B.C. Health does not cover visits to Naturopathic Doctors. However, naturopathic treatment is covered by most extended health care plans offered by employers. Check your medical plan to find out what services are covered.  Dr. Wrenshall is currently offering direct billing for patients who use Greenshield.  This means that you would not have to pay up front for the visits. Prescription medications are covered depending on your individual circumstances with Pharmacare and extended health coverage.

4. How many times should I expect to see a Naturopathic Doctor in order to get better?
Every individual is different.  The number and frequency of follow-up visits depends on the severity and duration of the condition, its impact on your general well-being and your compliance to treatment. Subsequent visits are extremely important so that your ND can monitor your progress, update your treatment protocol, and discuss any concerns as they come up. On average, these visits last about 30 minutes.

5. Can NDs treat the same diseases as MDs?
Naturopathic doctors and Medical Doctors diagnose in a similar fashion – using complete health history, physical exam and laboratory work if warrented. The difference lies in the philosophy and treatment plan: MDs primarily rely on pharmaceuticals and surgery to address a specific medical condition or set of symptoms. Naturopathic doctors employ a broader approach, seeking out the cause of the illness rather than treating the immediate symptoms.  By finding the root cause, and looking at the patient as a whole we use modalities that work to suppot the innate healing power inherent within every individual.

6. Can naturopathic physicians provide the same range of services as an MD?
In late 2009, the BC legislation passed a bill allowing NDs to able to order laboratory and diagnostic tests as well as prescribe prescription drugs as needed. Prescription rights have been granted to physicians who have completed government directed exams.  Dr. Wrenshall has been certified to prescribe.

7. M.D. vs N.D. ~ can I see both?

Naturopathic doctors are primary health-care physicians who work to complement other practitioners, such as medical doctors. You can choose to see both an N.D. and an M.D. at any given time, although many Naturopathic physicians are primary health care providers. 

8. Naturopathic Medicine differs from Homeopathy…
Naturopathic doctors are trained as general practitioners in alternative medicine.  Like MDs, chiropractors and other health professionals, they are licensed and regulated.  In BC homeopathy is not recognized as a separate branch of medical practice, however Naturopathic Physicians are trained in its technique.  They use it as one of many treatment tools to draw upon in their practice.  A homeopath prescribes a homeopathic remedy after a lenghty client intake.