Complementary versus Alternative Medicine


Many people describe what I do as “alternative medicine". While this is somewhat true as it is indeed an alternative approach to medicine, it also creates some incorrect perceptions to what I do as a naturopathic doctor.

For one thing, “alternative medicine" leads one to believe a choice needs to be made between naturopathic medicine and conventional medicine. This could not be farther from the truth. Every well-trained naturopathic doctor (ND) will prefer to work hand-in-hand with a medical doctor (MD); conversely, every good MD should be willing to work with an ND; the end result is the best care for our shared patients. There are things MDs can provide that NDs cannot, and things NDs can provide that MDs cannot.

For example, NDs spend more time with each patient to get to know your individual needs and the nuances of your situation. An initial appointment with an ND like me is typically up to an hour. MDs face system-imposed time pressures that NDs do not. We will spend time discussing diet, lifestyle, and many other things that may be missed in an MDs office due to these time constraints.

An MD on the other hand, can take advantage of our OHIP system and get much needed lab tests, imaging, and prescribe life saving medication and treatments when needed. 

When it comes to actually describing what I do, I prefer the term “complimentary medicine"; I provide care that complements what you may be receiving from your MD. Although certain conditions can be treated solely with naturopathic medicine, it is best to have both sides working in tandem to get the best results. 

There are those who argue that complimentary medicine is best, and those that argue conventional medicine is best. I don't argue this point - I argue that both are necessary to give my patients the care they seek and deserve.  

If you have any questions about how to reach your full potential, don't hesitate to contact me, book an appointment, or stop by the clinic.

Thanks for reading,

Dr. Oake