Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine
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|President||Bob Bernhardt, PhD|
|Dean||Nick DeGroot, ND|
|Affiliations||AANMC, CNME, NABNE|
The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) is a private not-for-profit institution located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The college's legal operating name is the Institute of Naturopathic Education and Research. CCNM offers a degree program in naturopathic medicine, the recipients of which are eligible to take licensing examinations to become naturopathic doctors.
CCNM was established in Toronto as the Ontario College of Naturopathic Medicine (OCNM) in 1978 by Robert B. Farquharson, Gregory "Asa" Hershoff, John G. LaPlante, William Morris, Eric Shrubb, and Gordon Smith, all naturopathic doctors. OCNM originally offered a post-graduate program to doctors from other health professions, such as medical doctors and chiropractors. The school moved to its first permanent building at 32 Benton Street in Kitchener, Ontario in 1981. OCNM incorporated as the non-profit, charitable Institute of Naturopathic Education and Research in 1983, the year before it moved from its Kitchener location back to downtown Toronto. The school then moved again in 1986 from its location on Bay Street to Berl Avenue to accommodate larger class sizes. The name of the school changed to the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in 1992 and moved to Yonge and Eglinton in 1996. The school moved once again in 1999 to its present location in North York.
CCNM received accreditation in 2014, for the period from May, 2014 to May, 2019. In 2013, CCNM also opened the Brampton Naturopathic Teaching Clinic (BNTC) in collaboration with the William Osler Health System and Central West Local Health Integration Network. It is the first naturopathic clinic within a Canadian hospital. In May 2014, the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities awarded the college degree-granting status. This was done after extensive review by the Post–Secondary Education Quality-Assessment Board (PEQAB).
Academics and objectives
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The college currently offers a four-year, professional Doctor of Naturopathy degree. Within academia, a first-level health-related professional degree (e.g. MD, MBChB, etc.) is often considered to be the same level as a bachelor, regardless of whether or not the term doctor is included in the title. However, the degree name will be amended to Doctor of Naturopathy following proclamation of the Naturopathy Act, 2007 (expected to take place at the end of 2014). This is in accordance with the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991, which grants rights to the title of "doctor", and protects it from misuse.
CCNM's naturopathic medicine program prepares graduates to become primary care providers in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and several states in the U.S. that regulate naturopathic medicine.[dubious ] The curriculum integrates clinical medicine and research with natural therapeutics. Successful graduates will be able to educate patients and the public in health promotion and disease prevention; manage the underlying physical, psychological and social causes of disease; practice in a manner that exemplifies professionalism, strong ethics and a commitment to the principles of naturopathic medicine; communicate effectively with patients; appraise and apply research in treating patients; integrate both natural and biomedicine with clinical knowledge in the assessment, diagnosis and management of patients; identify the need for urgent and emergent health care and direct appropriate resolution; establish and manage a naturopathic practice; manage chronic disease; demonstrate leadership in health advocacy and environmental stewardship; collaborate effectively and work in partnership with other health care practitioners; demonstrate commitment to the advancement of the naturopathic profession.
Standard program and curriculum
A post-university professional program requires a bachelor's degree for admission. The naturopathic program includes over 1,200 hours of clinical experience and over 3,000 hours of didactic training. The three major areas of study are biomedical sciences, clinical sciences, and naturopathic therapeutics.
The biomedical sciences segment of the curriculum (years 1 and 2) involves the study of anatomy (gross anatomy and prosection), embryology, clinical physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, immunology, public health, pharmacology, clinical pathology and laboratory diagnostics. Recently gross anatomy labs have taken place at the Medical Sciences building in the University of Toronto. Introductory courses in the naturopathic modalities include: botanical medicine, homeopathy, nutrition, Asian medicine and acupuncture, physical medicine, psychology. Introductory clinical courses include PCD (physical and clinical diagnosis), laboratory and differential diagnosis. Students are required to pass a set of Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCE I and II) at the end of second year. It is recommended that students also take step-one of the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examinations (NPLEX) prior to commencing third year.
The clinical sciences segment (years 3 and 4) builds upon concepts studied earlier in the program. It prepares students to diagnose a range of primary care conditions and to effectively help patients treat and/or manage their conditions, while promoting disease prevention.[dubious ] Laboratory and clinical demonstrations are used to help develop practical skills.[dubious ] A range of primary care issues are covered in several specialized courses that include, fundamentals of primary care; integrated therapeutics; in-office procedures (e.g. blood draws, injections, minor surgery); maternal and newborn care (obstetrics); pediatrics; men's and women's health (urology, gynecology); emergency medicine; and diagnostic imaging (e.g. radiology).[dubious ] Further in-depth training in botanical medicine and pharmacognosy, homeopathy, clinical nutrition, physical medicine (including osseous and soft tissue manipulative therapy, therapeutic exercise, hydrotherapy and therapeutic ultrasound), psychological counseling, acupuncture and Asian medicine is emphasized.[dubious ]
Prior to commencing fourth year (clinical internship), students are required to pass a clinic-entry exam (i.e. OSCE-III). Clinical rotations take place at the Robert Schad Naturopathic Teaching Clinic (RSNC), BNTC, and several Community Health Clinics (e.g. Sherbourne Health Centre). Fulfilment of clinical requirements is tightly regulated by the Office of Clinical Education in order to ensure minimum numbers are met (e.g. hours, patient visits, procedures). Upon completion of clinical requirements interns are eligible for graduation, after which they are required to take NPLEX step-two (clinical sciences) and provincial (or state) board examinations.[dubious ]
Bridge delivery program for IMGs
Bridge delivery for International Medical Graduates (IMGs) of the naturopathic medicine program was established in 2012 and its first class began in 2013. The delivery is a two-year fast track for IMGs who wish to become naturopathic doctors without having to re-take courses or write challenge exams for advanced standing for courses in which they are expected to have expertise, such as physiology and anatomy.
IMGs are required to have achieved a passing grade on either the Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination (MCCEE) or the United States Medical licensing Examination Step I (USMLE I) in addition to have graduated from a medical school recognized by the Medical Council of Canada. Bridge delivery is not considered a discrete program; its graduates are expected to have the same competencies as their full-time-student peers and will be awarded the same degree and designation upon successful completion of the program.
Robert Schad Naturopathic Clinic
Located at the Leslie campus, the RSNC logs upwards of 26,000 patient visits each year. It is one of several teaching clinics where licensed NDs work train fourth-year interns. The clinic features a botanical compounding room, a hydrotherapy suite, private consultation rooms, conference rooms and a laboratory for in-house testing. The clinic also offers free and low-cost naturopathic care at five teaching satellite clinics around the greater Toronto area. This gives interns and faculty the opportunity to bring naturopathic care to under-served populations and at the same time exposes them to a range of medical conditions that they may not encounter at the RSNC.
Brampton Civic Hospital Naturopathic Teaching Clinic
CCNM, in partnership with the William Osler Health System and Local Health Integration Network, opened the Brampton Naturopathic Teaching Clinic (BNTC) in 2013 at the Brampton Civic Hospital as a pilot project. The BNTC is the first naturopathic clinic in a hospital in Canada. The clinic was opened in support and as a component of Osler's "philosophy to help ensure greater access to community care options.", and its steering committee includes representatives from both CCNM and the Brampton Civic Hospital. Similarly to the RSNC, licensed NDs train fourth year interns at this location. Services are entirely free to the public.
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