Day Three of Naturopathic Medicine Week How do Naturopathic Doctors Fit into Your Health Care Team?

Naturopathic doctors play an integral role in your health care as we are often the ones to look at the whole person and evaluate all aspects of a patient's health, including physical, mental, emotional, and even spiritual. 

As a naturopathic doctor, one of my goals when working with patients to connect the dots in health. I do this by assessing all factors contributing to a patient's health and then I advise them on what I can do as a naturopath to help and where a referral to another professional is warranted. Naturopathic doctors are highly skilled health care providers who recognize the importance of connecting with the necessary professionals to optimize a patient's health and well-being. As a naturopath, I look forward to being a part of my patient's integrative health care team and have worked alongside medical doctors, nurses, social workers, mental health providers, counselors, physiotherapists, chiropractors, TCM practitioners, osteopaths, registered massage therapists, and many other providers to ensure the best care is being provided. 

You may be wondering what is the difference between a medical doctor and a naturopathic doctor? There are similarities and differences between these professionals. MDs and NDs are both primary care providers with similar medical education and training. The primary difference between these health care providers is clinical approach and therapies used. MDs have extensive knowledge of prescription medications, as do NDs because we must ensure that what we prescribed doesn't interact negatively with any prescription drug. Naturopathic doctors focus on preventive medicine and seek to optimize our patient's overall health by examining the whole picture. Naturopathic doctors generally spend more time with our patients to get to know them and more about their health concerns. NDs seek to treat things naturally when possible, however, we are not against prescription medication. As a naturopathic doctor, I recognize that there are circumstances where prescription medication is necessary and life-saving. I work with patients who take prescription medications for various reasons. My role as a naturopathic doctor is to empower my patient with education about their treatment options and support them in their choice of treatment. 

Naturopathic doctors also focus on the fundamentals of health - food and nutrition, sleep, and stress reduction. We aim to treat the underlying cause of your health concern and not just the symptoms. Naturopathic doctors have a variety of therapies we use to address numerous acute and chronic health concerns, including a few prescription rights for substances such as hormones and thyroid medications. Similar to medical doctors, naturopathic doctors are trained to assess, diagnosis, treat, and manage concerns ranging from asthma to tendinitis and everything in between. NDs perform physical exams and annual check-ups, run lab tests, and can refer to other health professionals if necessary. 

So you don't have to choose between health care professionals, both providers can support you in your journey towards optimal health and well-being. If you have questions about how a naturopathic doctor can help you to optimize your health feel free to get in touch with us at 905-683-1616. 

Yours in health, 
Dr. Kate Klein, ND