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Working as a Naturopathic Physician [NOC 3125]

Job Description

Naturopathic medicine is a distinct primary health care system that blends modern scientific knowledge with traditional and natural forms of medicine.

Working as a naturopathic physician, your duties may include:

  • taking new patient histories
  • performing physical exams and laboratory tests
  • prescribing natural medicines such as herbs, supplements and homeopathic medicines
  • performing physical medicine, such as naturopathic manipulation and physiotherapy
  • encouraging patients to make lifestyle changes
  • referring patients to medical doctors, if necessary
  • managing clinic business

Sources: British Columbia Naturopathic Association, Career Cruising [Profile for Naturopath]

Industry Overview

British Columbia is currently under-served by Naturopathic Physicians. There is a demand for doctors in many areas of the province. Additionally, the health care professions in general are in a growth period, and will continue to be so for at least the next 10-15 years.

The growing awareness of natural approaches to regaining and maintaining health have created a boom for anyone entering this, or a related profession.

Source: British Columbia Naturopathic Association

Job Outlook in BC (2019-2029)

Other Professional Occupations in Health Diagnosing & Treating [including Naturopathic Doctors] – NOC 3125

naturopathic_physicians_job_outlook

Chart from WorkBC

WorkBC provides job openings in BC regions from 2019-2029:

Region Employment
in 2019
Average Annual Employment
Growth
Expected
Number of Job Openings
Vancouver Island 110 1.5% 50
Lower Mainland / Southwest 330 1.7% 160
Thompson-Okanagan 80 1.8% 50

You can learn more about working as a Naturopathic Physician in BC from:

  • Career Cruising  [profile for Naturopath]
    Available from the VPL Digital Library | Explore our Digital Library page

Types of Employers

Most naturopathic physicians are self-employed. You may have your own practice or work in a team practice or clinic.

Salary

The median annual salary for “other professional occupations in health diagnosing and treating” [including naturopathic doctors] in BC is $55,235.

Your earnings can vary based on a number of factors including: the style of medical practice you choose, whether you are a clinic owner or associate, your location and the number of patients you see.

naturopathic_physicians_wages

Chart: Job Bank Wage Report [Search 3125]
From WorkBC and BC Naturopathic Association

Working Hours

Naturopathic physicians generally work about 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week. You may set your own hours in private practice.

Evening and weekend work is common.

Skills, Education and Experience

Skills

  • strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • patient and compassionate
  • enjoyment in helping people in a naturally therapeutic fashion
  • strong clinical expertise in the basic sciences

Education and Experience

  • A minimum of 7 years post-secondary education is required. Most Naturopathic Physicians first complete a four year Bachelor degree in the arts or sciences, and then the required four-years at an accredited naturopathic medical college.
  • You must also pass comprehensive licensing exams in order to be registered to practice.

Qualifications

Naturopathic Physician is a regulated profession in British Columbia

You must be licensed with the College of Naturopathic Physicians of British Columbia (CNPBC) to practice naturopathic medicine in British Columbia and to use the title “naturopathic doctor,” “naturopathic physician,” or “naturopath.”

To register with the College, the following education, training and evaluation requirements must be met:

  • Successful completion of at least 3 years liberal arts or sciences study in an accredited college or university recognized by the College
  • Graduation from a naturopathic medical school accredited by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME) and recognized by the College
  • Successful completion of Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examinations administered by the North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners
  • Successful completion of the College’s examinations: Jurisprudence and Oral & Practical
  • Criminal records check

More information:

Internationally Educated and Trained Naturopathic Doctors

The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM), Canada’s only accredited naturopathic medical school, offers a 2-year bridge program developed specifically for international medical graduates.

The International Bridge Delivery program acknowledges your previous medical experience and education and incorporates all of the competencies of the four-year naturopathic program into a 6-term (2 year) curriculum. The College is located in Toronto, Ontario.

You may apply as an International Medical Graduate (IMG) if you have graduated from a medical school outside of Canada and have one or more of the following: several years of medical practice experience in your home country; recently completed medical school; completed a residency training program; or, gone directly into practice with no requirement for a residency.

More information:

Finding Jobs

You’ll find job advertisements in local newspapers, trade journals, and electronic sources, as well as through professional associations’ publications.

Local Newspapers

You can look at the Vancouver Sun & The Province at Vancouver Public Library for free. Check the job postings daily, the careers section in the Vancouver Sun on Wednesdays and Saturdays and in The Province on Sundays.

Job White Pages

  • Available online or in print at the Central Library
    NOTE: Access at VPL locations only

Online Job Postings

Industry Association Job Postings

Identifying the Right Position

When you browse job advertisements, you’ll find different job titles that are relevant.

For naturopathic physicians, look for these related job titles:

  • Naturopathic doctor (ND)
  • Naturopath

Creating a List of Potential Employers

You can use directories to produce lists of employers who work in the healthcare sector in Vancouver or the Lower Mainland. Contact them directly to find out if they’re hiring.

  • Reference Canada
    Click on “Start Search” beside Canadian Businesses, then select the “Advanced Search” button.
    Select both “Keyword/SIC/NAICS” under Business Type and “City” under Geography.
    In the top search box enter “naturopathic” and click SEARCH.
    Select the appropriate headings.
    Lower down, select the Province, choose the cities, and click the “View Results” button.
    Available from the VPL Digital Library | Explore our Digital Library page

Applying for a Job

In Canada, employers usually expect to receive a resume or curriculum vitae and a cover letter that identifies the position you are applying for and summarizes your relevant experience.
Use the library catalogue to find books on writing resumes and cover letters specific to your industry.

To learn about applying for jobs in Canada, see the following:

Getting Help from Industry Sources

Industry Associations

Associations for Naturopathic Physicians in BC and Canada provide information and assistance.  Registration and fees are usually required for membership.