Making the Appointment with a Naturopathic Doctor

Making the Appointment

When you call, there are a few questions to ask:

1.         Credentials — is this doctor licensed as a Naturopathic Doctor (ND), and is the licensing applicable to the country or province in which you live? If they are not licensed in your area, ask which regulatory bodies they belong to. For example, two provinces in Canada are currently working on their licensing criteria, so your ND may be licensed or affiliated with a governing body in another province. This affiliation ensures that your ND is operating to a set standard.

2.         Area of Specialty – NDs often practice in areas of specialty, just like mainstream doctors. Find out if the doctor you called specializes in family care, fertility, or whichever aspect of care you are interested in. If your issues are menopausal in nature for example, you may choose not to use an ND whose specialty is fertility.

3.         Costs – the cost for naturopathic health care is most often the burden of the patient. Some corporate health plans are recognizing the value of this alternative care in the prevention of illness and disease and are including these costs in their coverage packages. Check with your administrator to find out what is covered for you. A visit to a naturopathic clinic will have an office fee, testing fees and then fees for any remedies you may choose to buy based on the results of your evaluation.

If you are on a budget, have a candid conversation about this with the person on the phone. In small clinics, the office staff usually have a very good idea of how flexible fees can be. If the staff don’t have answers for you, discuss this with the doctor on your first visit. Also, testing can be broken down into different modules. For instance, if you want to be tested for Candida (yeast overgrowth in the intestine), you can perhaps forego the food allergy testing for the time being. Your goal here is to see if the clinic can work with you and the budget that you have set for yourself.

4.         Does This Office Provide Vega Testing – Vega Testing is a resource which some ND’s use to broaden the scope of the examination. It is a painless, non-invasive test which can help determine areas of concern.  My naturopath uses Vega testing and I have found it to be an effective component to my visits.