Do I have to choose between Naturopathic care and my medical doctor? How do their roles fit together?
No! Absolutely not!
The best health care is a combination of both.
It’s your family doctor’s job to ensure that you don’t have a life-threatening illness. Drugs and surgery are excellent life-saving tools, which is what they are designed for. Also, your family doc is an excellent first-line diagnostician and will make sure you get proper diagnostic testing. Conventional care however, is not designed to heal and repair the problem, but to control it as best it can. Drugs and surgery unfortunately do not provide great solutions for chronic disease, nor does it focus on actually getting your body healthier. Most people suffer from chronic, non-emergency symptoms before they need life-saving measures.
Chronic diseases are conditions like cancer, clogged arteries, menopausal symptoms, chronic headaches, arthritis, auto-immune conditions, crohn’s, colitis, hypertension. What do you notice about these conditions? None of them are cured by medications, but they are controlled to varying degrees of success, using medications.
My job, the ND role, is to collaborate with your MD and provide medical expertise in healing and repairing the problem, the reason it got there, and getting you HEALTHY! We also provide other types of diagnostics to determine how finely tuned your system is, to discover more functional problems (like adrenal fatigue and sub-clinical hypothyroidism, food sensitivities) and to look for issues of environmental toxicity as significant etiological factors for certain conditions.
Ok, but if have a serious problem I should see my MD, right? I mean naturopathic medicine is not powerful enough, right?
WRONG! Just ask my patients with chronic fatigue, or my patient that avoided having a colostomy, or the other one with colitis and daily bleeding and stomach pain who couldn’t eat anything. Doesn’t this sound like powerful medicine to you? You SHOULD however undergo appropriate diagnostic testing, and use medications where appropriate. You SHOULD go to emergency for any acute concern and if you are in any doubt.
Is Naturopathic Medicine covered by OHIP?
Unfortunately it isn’t, however check with you insurance company. Most private insurers provide coverage for a certain yearly amount. You are reimbursed when you submit your receipts.
What Education and Training Does a Naturopathic Doctor Receive?
To obtain the professional degree of Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND) students must:
Have successfully obtained and undergraduate degree including courses in basic sciences prerequisitesbiology, biochemistry, chemistry, organic chemistry, psychology, stats and physics. Dr.
Grime’s has degrees in Biomedical sciences and biology.
Successfully complete the 4-year-full time program in an accredited school of naturopathic medicine that includes more than 4,500 hours of classroom training and 1,500 hours of supervised clinical experience. Medical curriculum matches all North American medial education including: Anatomy (with dissection lab), physiology, biochemistry, immunology, pathology, microbiology, differential diagnosis, lab diagnostics, primary care, minor surgery etc. It also includes scientifically validated healing modalities: chiropractic, botanical pharmacy, clinical nutrition, hydrotherapy, TCM and acupuncture, counseling, IV nutrient therapy and more.
Pass NPLEX board exams that are written after the 2nd year (1 day oral and written exam) and 4th year of study (1 day oral exam, 3 days of written exams). NPLEX is the standard examination used by all licensing jurisdictions Naturopathic doctors in North America. There are 8 accredited universities.
Meet the Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits as required by the provincial regulatory boards on an ongoing basis.
ND’s may also choose to obtain their Drug Prescribing License, and must do so in order to be able to prescribe vitamins at pharmacological doses and to do injection therapies. This requires extensive study of medication prescribing, followed by a 1 day oral and written exam. In BC, and other states, ND’s are allowed to prescribe all medications that family doctors have access to. In Ontario, in spite of passing the pharmacy examinations, ND’s have limited access to drug prescribing, with additions occurring each year. Dr. Grime has obtained her requirements.
Dr. Grime has extra medical training in many areas including environmental medicine, orthomolecular medicine, oncology, bowen therapy, IV therapy, chelation therapy, Gestalt psychotherapy, and EFT (emotional freedom technique).
How long will it take before I notice a difference in my condition?
This depends on you, and the condition we are treating. This is a completely different process to symptom/disease management with medication. We are engaging healing and repair in the body, similar to growing a bonsai tree. We need the right soil, the right light, the right water, careful pruning and removal of irritants and garbage in the way of growth and repair. For example, it takes 8 weeks to heal a bone fracture and 6 months or so of physio to repair tissue, tendon, muscle, ligaments. This is the rate of cellular growth and repair in a human body. Some conditions will resolve in a month. Others, over a couple of years. It also depends on how much you are willing and able to do for yourself.
Fees Disclosure: It seems expensive to see an ND, why is this?
Relative to “free” health care, yes, it does seem expensive. Relative to what health care actually costs, it’s a steal. Relative to what other professionals are paid, even other trades are paid, it’s also a very good deal. Most of us don’t fully understand the behind the scenes costs of professions we’re not part of. Here is what your fees go towards:
The cost of medical education is the same high cost of all medical schools, minus paid residencies.
The annual costs of licensing, continuing education, association memberships, medical data base memberships is also the same as family medicine, and often more.
ND practices are complex and detailed as we are general practitioners providing whole-system care. The costs of running a practice, staffing, supplies, and commercial office space rent accounts for more than half of your fees. While I would love to provide you with an over experience in the clinic that is smooth, detailed and comprehensively supportive, this requires staff. My hourly rate does not support this level of staffing. If anyone wishes to volunteer, I have much for you to do!
Individualized care requires a lot of time outside of consultation hours. It requires much analysis, and planning for every appointment. It requires research of best new treatments and products, communications with other care gives and many other details that can’t occur during work day hours. This amounts to more than 20 hours of unpaid work per week.
Integrity is very important to us. Choosing to become an ND requires a high level of passion and altruism to be in service of others and in the pursuit of understanding the extremely broad and multi-faceted topic of whole-person healing. It’s a challenging profession to part of. The rewards come from you and the satisfaction of a deep calling the help.
Lab Tests Disclosure: Lab test requested by an ND are not covered by OHIP. There is no HST on regular lab tests. There is no mark up on lab tests. There is HST on functional medical testing eg. salivary hormones testing, food sensitivity testing.
Dispensary Disclosure: There is only sufficient mark up on supplements to account for costs incurred in managing the dispensary. The office dispensary exists to ensure that you have immediate access to quality medicines you need that work, at a reasonable cost. The quicker you start them, the quicker you will get results. Spending 2 weeks hunting down appropriate products is inefficient. You are welcome to get any medicines required anywhere you want. Products that are easily sourced at local health foods stores at lower cost due to bulk purchasing are not carried in our dispensary. We don’t want you feeling ripped off.
Will I have to take a million supplements?
The process of repair is very different than symptom control. Whole-person care is also very different to the “1 problem per visit only” approach. The body is complex. Healing an issue often requires addressing multiple systems in the body at once, needing their own specific treatments. A person with colitis, anxiety and nutrient deficiencies causing fatigue and other issues requires: nutrients for gut repair, for immune system balance, for nervous system and adrenal balance and nutrient replacement for deficiencies. Your precious and amazing tissues need more than just one nutrient to function properly. We can’t get you better with nothing, or with 5 drops of vitamin D only. Your care is your choice however. We can go as fast or as slow as you wish. Feeling financially stressed due to treatment does not help the repair process. Feeling empowered, feeling that your investment in yourself is worth it and manageable, feeling good with your decision to get yourself well, does. The more you choose to do to optimize your lifestyle will also decrease the medicines required.