Myth Busters

Posted On: December 5, 2019

Myth #1

Naturopaths in Ontario are “licensed, Board certified” naturopathic doctors.

In Ontario there isn’t a “Board” that certifies naturopaths and technically Members are not licensed. The correct terminology to use is that naturopaths are registered with the College of Naturopaths of Ontario and are authorized to practise naturopathy in Ontario.

You may wonder why it matters if Members use the term “licensed, Board certified”. For members of the public who are looking for a naturopath and want to confirm that they are legally allowed to practise in Ontario or to see if there are any complaints or discipline issues, they will need to find the College. If a Member’s website says they are Board certified, the public will have a hard time finding the College (if at all) and therefore information about the Member.

Myth #2

Members of the College write “Board exams” in order to become a Member.

In the past, the Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy – Naturopathy (BDDTN) required applicants to pass specified examinations to become registered, however, under the current examination structure there are no “Board exams”. The College currently requires all Members to have successfully passed entry-to-practise exams.

Myth #3

Graduates of a naturopathic college can work “under an ND’s licence” until the graduate is a Member of the College.

The idea that anyone, including a naturopathic school graduate, can work under an ND’s licence is incorrect. First of all, naturopaths in Ontario are registered, not licensed, with the College of Naturopaths of Ontario. Secondly, an ND does not have the unilateral ability to allow a graduate to work “under” them. The graduate can work in the ND’s office providing certain aspects of care under the supervision of the ND. The idea that they are working under the ND’s registration can imply that the graduate can use the ND’s registration number and bill under their registration number. Similarly to how someone who does not have a Driver’s Licence cannot drive a car under someone else’s licence, a naturopathic graduate cannot practise under the registration of a naturopath.

If you have heard something through the naturopathic grapevine that sounds like it could be a myth, please let us know. You can reply to this blog or email Dr. Mary-Ellen McKenna ND (Inactive) at with questions or comments.

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