Your first visit with your naturopathic doctor
The first appointment with a naturopathic doctor is between one-and-a-half and two hours. Subsequent appointments will be from 30 to 45 minutes in length depending on your specific health concerns and the naturopathic doctor you are working with. Typically during the initial visits your naturopathic doctor will take a detailed history of your current and past health concerns, conduct a physical exam and order laboratory tests to make an assessment and diagnosis. With the patient’s input, a personalized treatment plan will be proposed to help facilitate achieving his or her health goals.
Diagnostics and examinations
The foundation of naturopathic diagnosis is an extensive patient history, physical examination, review of medications, and evaluation of appropriate laboratory tests and diagnostic imaging. Naturopathic doctors use the conventional medical diagnostic framework, but are also trained in Chinese medical diagnostic skills and spend time looking for contributing factors in patient’s lifestyle, habits, attitudes and constitution.
Health insurance coverage
Most extended health insurance plans in Canada cover naturopathic treatments. Insured patients are encouraged to contact their employer or individual insurance brokers to determine if they are covered and/or to request that their policy be extended to include naturopathic services if it does not already do so. Since naturopathic doctors use alternatives to costly techniques and drug therapies, more insurance companies are expanding coverage of this cost-effective treatment method. Naturopathic medicine is currently not covered by any of the provincial health plans.