I’m a recovering commitment-phobe. Social plans, boyfriends, health care providers – if it required a solid commitment I was wary.
Choosing a ND is a commitment. You are spending time, money and effort to feel better.
If I was a patient and I was looking for a ND this is what I would want to know before I made the leap.
- Do you have an area of expertise?
Medicine is a vast field and if you try to be good at everything you are bound to fail. A quality ND will have a general understanding of many health concerns, but will have done some speciality training in an area that interests them. For me, it’s weight loss and Chinese medicine.
- Do you have a network of practitioners you refer to?
I believe strongly that health care is best delivered as a team. Ask if your ND knows health care providers in the area – a massage therapist, a dentist, family doctors or specialists. Being connected is a good sign that your ND is able to work with other providers. This is important to bridge the gap between complimentary or alternative care and OHIP covered services
- What did you do before you were a ND?
Having a strong background in health care made working with patients easy for me. Before graduating I had already inserted catheters, dressed wounds and had worked with dying people. I was very comfortable with the human body. Some of my colleagues were in business, some were teachers, and some came straight out of university to become an ND. Understanding where your naturopath started gives you some insight into what their unique skill set is.
- Do you read research journals? How do you stay up to date?
Medical information changes rapidly. If you’ve ever googled a condition, you know that internet advice can change one day to the next. As a doctor, I think it is my job to read the research journals that come out monthly and get daily email alerts from the major publications, like the New England Journal of Medicine. Without this continuous learning it would be easy to fall behind and my patient care would suffer.
Here’s hoping this helps you find the best ND for you!