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Naturopathy vs. Western medicine March 19, 2010

Posted by Dreamhealer in naturopathic.
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The column by Scott Gavura reflects a profound ignorance of both naturopathic medicine and of Ontario’s recent decision to move naturopathic doctors (NDs) into the same legislative framework as all other regulated health professionals.

Ontario’s decision to allow NDs to prescribe recognizes that an increasing number of botanical and nutritional medicines are being placed on prescription-only schedules. An example is higher dosages of Vitamin D, which evidence shows has many clinical benefits, including effective treatment of osteoporosis. NDs need to be able to prescribe to recommend this safe and effective therapy to patients.

On three separate occasions, the government’s own advisory council concluded that NDs have the training and qualifications to be safe prescribers, and recommended that patients are best served if their NDs have access to the full extent of their training and capability.

Becoming an ND requires eight years of education and training, including a university pre-med degree and a four-year naturopathic program. This compares to the five years in total required to become a pharmacist. Mr. Gavura may be quite comfortable with conventional medicine with its high reliance on pharmaceuticals, but his choice is not right for everyone and his fear-mongering only misleads the public by staunchly defending a status quo that lets so many patients down.

Shelley Burns, ND, chairwoman, Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors, Toronto.

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