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Dr. Mel Fougere

Treating both acute and chronic conditions, naturopathic treatments are chosen based on the individual patient – their physiological, structural, psychological, social, spiritual, environment and lifestyle factors. In addition to diet and lifestyle changes, natural therapies including botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, hydrotherapy, homeopathy and traditional Chinese medicine/acupuncture, may also be used during treatments.
In Canada, the naturopathic medical profession’s infrastructure includes accredited educational institutions, professional licensing, national standards of practice, participation in many federal health committee initiatives, and a commitment to state-of-the-art scientific research.

What does a typical visit involve?

The initial visit is 1.5 hours in length and is a chance to share your medical story. This visit is designed to be an information gathering session, in which a detailed review of medical history is recorded. Since each patient is unique, a comprehensive individualized treatment plan will be developed. Additional laboratory work and/or medical records may be necessary in order to make a solid diagnosis, so this information may be requested.

The return office visits are usually 30 minutes in length and involve case discussion, pertinent physical exam and modification or addition to the original treatment plan.

Education and training involved in becoming a naturopathic physcian

After completion of an undergraduate degree, students complete a 4-year graduate naturopathic medical program from 1 of the 5 accredited schools in North America. The first 2 years of medical training are similar to that which medical doctors receive. The program involves intensive study in anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, histology, pathology, pharmacology, immunology, infectious disease, minor surgery, clinical laboratory, neurology, gynecology and embryology as examples. During this time, there is additional coursework in botanical medicine, clinical nutrition, homeopathy, counselling, physical therapy and spinal adjustment and massage therapeutics. The last 2 years of the program involves further study of the medical sciences and naturopathic therapeutics and students are required to complete a minimum of 1500 hours of clinical. Upon graduation, students are required to have completed 4500 hours of coursework and clinical study. In order to be licensed in the province of British Columbia, after completion of a 4-year naturopathic medical program, each candidate must successfully pass 2 sets of national board exams on basic medical sciences, clinical medical sciences and naturopathic therapeutics.

Conditions treated by naturopathic physicians:

Digestive problems including; IBS, food allergies, yeast imbalance, heartburn, constipation, ulcerative colitis Crohn's, among others.
Women's health issues, hormonal imbalance, infertility, PMS, PCOS, endometriosis, menopausal concerns, pregnancy and post-partum care.
Infant and Children's health care including; diaper rash, allergies, eczema, asthma, colic, digestive concerns and infant food introduction.
Seasonal and environmental allergies, asthma and auto-immune diseases.
Eczema, psoriasis, acne and fungal infections of the skin.
Weight gain, poor diet, migraine headaches and general fatigue.
Colds and flu's, ear and throat infections, fevers, joint and muscle pain.
Depression, insomnia, anxiety, chronic fatigue, attention deficit disorder.

Does a naturopathic physician work with other healthcare professionals?

Yes, naturopathic physicians, work closely with other healthcare professionals including medical doctors and specialists, chiropractors, registered massage therapists, physiotherapists and acupuncturists, among others to provide the best possible comprehensive care for patients. 

Is naturopathic medicine covered under MSP or extended healthcare plans?

Many extended healthcare plans cover naturopathic medicine visits and laboratory testing fees.

At the core center of health we direct bill to many insurance providers. see detailed list here

Also, MSP may pay a portion of the visit fees if you qualify for premium assistance under the medical services plan of BC. Inquire when you book your appointment.

Want more information on the practice of naturopathic medicine?

BCNA - The British Columbia Naturopathic Association: A source of information on the profession and practice of naturopathic medicine in the province of BC. Phone: 604-736-6646 or 1-800-277-1128

CNPBC - The College of Naturopathic Physicians of BC: The licensing and regulatory body for the profession of naturopathic medicine in BC. Phone: 604-688-8236

CAND - The Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors: An information source, referral network and resource for patients and naturopathic doctors on a national level. Phone: 416-496-8633 or