The World Health Organisation published some time ago a pamphlet on the path recommended to be a naturopath. There were two main pathways: the first for those who are not trained in the science of medicine, and the second for those who are. It is true that the AMCC receives applications for registration from both groups: those who have little or no background in medicine, and those who are already doctors. (We offer solutions for both groups, by the way.)
I wanted to share with you some excerpts from the WHO pamphlet.
Why Become a Naturopath?
The mission of a Naturopath is, according to the WHO, to teach the principles of healthy living and preventative health care. Who can oppose this beautiful definition?
Naturopaths teach the principles of healthy living and preventative health care. They teach patients the causes of illness so they can better prevent recurrence. In addition, patients should be involved in the therapeutic process to participate in their own recovery and learn to take responsibility for their future health. It has been shown that this cooperative approach between the practitioner and the patient empowers the patient, which provides an added benefit.
That sums up the situation well. Most prospective students who want to register with us put in their cover letter one of the elements included in the WHO definition. Often, it’s a personal experience with themselves or their close ones that motivate them to make that life choice, and eventually also a career choice.
Which Training ?
Here, WHO makes recommendations: it’s not compulsory and the main naturopathic associations do not require all that’s mentioned in the pamphlet. I write it all the same in this article to share with you the high expectations for naturopathic students. At the AMCC, we meet the criteria of professional associations that allow our students to offer their patients tax receipts, among others. Of course, we are always looking to improve the quality of our training so we take into consideration any constructive evidence.
Naturopathic experts distinguish two types of naturopathic training based on prior training and trainee clinical experience. Type I training programs are for those who have no previous training or experience in health care or health. They are designed to train qualified naturopathic practitioners to practice as primary and front-line practitioners, independently or as members of a health care team. This type of program includes a minimum of two years of full-time study (or equivalent) of at least 1500 hours, including at least 400 hours of supervised clinical training. Acceptable candidates will generally have completed high school or the equivalent.
Type II training programs are intended for people who have received medical or other training in the field of health (Western medicine, dentistry, chiropractic, osteopathy, etc.) and wish to become a recognised naturopathic practitioner. The learning outcomes should be comparable to those of a Type I program.
Learning Outcomes of the Type I Program
Graduates of the Type I program must be able to:
- provide a basic description of the principles and practice of the different disciplines of traditional, complementary and alternative medicine;
- evaluate the health of their clients of all ages with skill and accuracy and effectively communicate this information to their clients;
- prescribe appropriate treatments using naturopathic terms used in accordance with naturopathic principles;
recommend traditional medicines to treat and prevent disease and promote health;
- prepare traditional medicines in accordance with pharmacopoeia requirements and good drug preparation and preparation practices;
- monitor, evaluate and adapt, as needed, each client’s naturopathic care;
- Educate clients and the public about health promotion and disease prevention Benchmarks for naturopathic training;
- refer clients to other health professionals when necessary and appropriate;
- Respect ethics and respect the codes and guidelines of the relevant professional organisations, as well as the laws, rules, and / or regulations of the licensing body.
The Type I program consists of four main fields of study:
- Basic sciences (inc.: anatomy, physiology, pathology.)
- Clinical sciences (inc.: taking patient history and clinical assessment, physical examination, first aid and emergency medicine, hygiene and public health.)
- Naturopathic sciences, methods and principles (the history and practice of naturopathy, nature cure, nutrition, hydrotherapy, botanical medicine, homeopathy and tissue salts, Bach flower therapy, stress management and advice on how to life, ethics and jurisprudence, elective courses (light and electrotherapy, iridology, soft tissue therapies, aromatherapy, acupuncture).
- Clinical training and application.
Since some courses and disciplines cover more than one of these fields, this classification is simply intended to provide a simple categorisation of the scope of the courses studied.
Competence in Botanical Medicine
Competence in botanical medicine requires training in basic naturopathic subjects as well as in specific subjects of botanical medicine. All naturopathic practitioners are trained in the use and composition of medicinal plants.
They are competent in the identification, storage, composition and distribution of herbal remedies. These practitioners should be able to identify the herbal remedies most commonly used in their area and demonstrate their knowledge of pharmacognosy and good drug preparation and preparation practices.
For each of these herbal medicinal products, they must be able to indicate indications, dosages, contraindications, potential adverse effects, levels of toxicity and potential interactions between medicinal plants, pharmaceuticals or foods.
Practitioners must comply with the requirements for reporting adverse reactions. At the end of the training program, students should have skills in the field of botanical medicines and
- have basic knowledge of botany
- understand the taxonomy and morphology of botanical drugs;
- be able to identify botanical medicines, both in growth and powder, according to their level of practice;
- to be able to classify plants according to their action – eg as astringents, demulcents, diaphoretics, etc. – and connect the action of a given plant to the indications of its use;
- understand the pharmacological action of botanical drugs;
- know in detail the dosage range and toxicities of botanical drugs studied in their training program;
- know in detail the contraindications and incompatibilities of the botanical drugs studied in their training program;
- ability to list potentially adverse interactions between botanical, botanical, nutraceutical, botanical-pharmaceutical and / or botanical-food for botanical drugs used in their practice;
- be aware of the relative merits of simple and / or complex botanical medicines;
- have a good understanding of good preparation and preparation practices according to their level of practice;
- ability to report adverse effects to the competent authorities.——————————
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