The Charlene Deeks Centre for Naturopathic Medicine

New Patients

First Visit

A trusting relationship between a healthcare practitioner and a patient can be one of the most important steps towards healing. A naturopathic doctor is trained to listen closely to what their patient is saying and will spend significant time interacting with their patient in each visit.

At The Charlene Deeks Centre of Naturopathic Medicine, the first adult visit is 1hour with a second visit (45 mins) to discuss your treatment plan.  Follow-up visits are usually 30 minutes.  During this time together, we attempt to assess not only your physical health by asking clinical questions and completing a physical exam but also ask many questions about your life, your beliefs and needs.

Your thoughts, beliefs and physical reactions to your environment are all connected to each other; when you want to feel better, improve your relationships, or change your behavior, your thoughts are often the best place to start - so it is important to take the time to get to know you.

New patients are advised to download and fill out the Intake Form (adult or pediatric for under 12) and read the Consent Form prior to coming to your first visit. In addition, please download and complete the Systems Review Form.

If you have any questions about these downloads or about which forms your practitioner may require, please contact us in advance of your appointment.


New Patient FAQ

What is Naturopathic Medicine?

Naturopathic medicine is a distinct system of primary care medicine that addresses the root cause of illness or disease and promotes health and healing using natural therapies. Treatment modalities may include clinical nutrition, botanical (herbal) medicine, homeopathic medicine, physical treatments, acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and lifestyle counselling.

The primary goal of naturopathic treatment is to address the cause of the illness rather than simply treating or suppressing symptoms. While naturopathic care helps to alleviate specific symptoms, NDs are primarily concerned with addressing the root cause of an illness: the focus is more on the why of a disease rather than the what?

What is a Naturopathic Doctor?

Naturopathic doctors are highly educated primary care providers who are trained to use standard medical diagnostics and clinical science to assess your health status and then choose from a selection of therapies to stimulate your body’s natural self-healing abilities.

What is the difference between a naturopathic doctor (ND) and a general practitioner (MD)?

A family medical doctor attended medical school following the receipt of an undergraduate degree and is regulated by the OMA and the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons.  MDs practice allopathic medicine and use prescription drugs and/or surgery to treat patient symptom complaints.  Allopathic medicine is very effective in acute care medicine saving human lives every day using modern day’s technologies and acute care pharmaceuticals.

Similarly, a naturopathic doctor attended naturopathic medical school following the receipt of an undergraduate degree.  A naturopathic physician is licensed and regulated by the College of Naturopaths of Ontario and uses the naturopathic model of medicine focusing on the underlying cause of the disease state or imbalances; if the root cause of the condition is removed, associated symptoms and disease outcomes are as well.

Naturopathic medicine is very effective in chronic disease prevention and treatment by using approaches to increase the body’s own self-healing abilities.

Can you help me?

Our clinic treats a lot of different conditions as listed on the conditions page.  If you have a concern that is not listed, please contact the clinic for more information as we will be glad to discuss it with you.

Patients taking multiple drugs can feel confident in calling our clinic. Naturopath and pharmacologist
Dr. Susan Fisher develops a treatment plan including a pharmaceutical analysis of current drug therapies to ensure safe integration of allopathic and naturopathic approaches.   In certain cases, we can help to alleviate the dependence on pharmaceuticals by enhancing your own body’s healing properties.
Please note: a naturopathic doctor will never take a patient off of a medication prescribed by another physician. This decision must be made between the patient and the prescribing doctor.  It is important in the management of your health to exchange treatment information with your family physician as we both want to help you reach your goals.

How many visits will I need?

The number of visits required depends on the diagnosis of your particular condition. For most routine cases, a first visit is followed by a second visit in which a treatment plan is discussed. Follow-up visits are set up to monitor progress or administer treatment protocols such as acupuncture, as well as ensure that the treatment protocol is effective. Typically, the second visit is booked for 1-3 weeks after the first one. In many cases, two follow-up appointments are booked 4-6 weeks apart.  Once health goals are achieved, maintenance visits are scheduled every six months

Does my extended health insurance cover naturopathic medicine?

Most third party payers cover the cost of the naturopathic visit.  Prescribed supplements are normally not covered.  Check with your health insurance company to make sure you are covered.  If not, you may consider switching your insurance policy.  If you wish, our clinic can speak with your insurer directly to verify licensure and coverage questions. 

Are naturopathic doctors regulated in Ontario?

Yes. Naturopathic doctors are the only regulated health professionals in the field of natural medicine in Ontario. Doctor licensure is granted by the North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners (NABNE). Students graduating from either one of the two accredited Canadian naturopathic schools (Toronto, Ontario or New Westminster, B.C.) are then eligible to sit for the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examinations (NPLEX), administered by NABNE. Passing the NPLEX is required before a doctor of naturopathic medicine can be licensed by a state or provincial jurisdiction as a primary care general practice physician.

Naturopathic doctors are regulated in Ontario under the College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CNO).  The CNO's  mandate is to ensure naturopathic doctors are properly qualified to practice naturopathic medicine and follow the appropriate standards of practice.

What is the training process to become a registered naturopathic doctor in Ontario?

Naturopathic doctors (NDs) obtain comprehensive and rigorous training in an educational structure similar to that of medical doctors. NDs require a minimum three years of pre-med post-secondary education, plus four years of full-time study at an approved college of naturopathic medicine. In Ontario, the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine is where naturopathic doctors are trained. The four year program incorporates over 4,500 hours of classroom training in basic medical science courses, clinical sciences and naturopathic therapies, as well as 1,500 hours of supervised clinical experience. Graduates from an accredited naturopathic college receive the designation Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND).  NDs are also required to earn continuing education credits on an ongoing basis to maintain their registration and good standing with the regulatory body.

What to Expect on Your First Visit

Your first visit will begin with a thorough review of your health history (including a physical exam), including family history, medical records, diet and lifestyle habits, and any presenting symptoms or concerns. We may choose to requisition blood tests or other diagnostics in your first or second appointment in order to assess your health and provide the best treatment for your needs.

It is a good idea to bring or list any prescription drugs and/or supplements you are currently taking. These will be considered when your personalized treatment plan is formulated. A pharmaceutical / nutriceutical assessment is provided and explained early in your treatment for your reference.

On return to the clinic in your second visit (usually one week later) your treatment plan is presented. Please note this is a working document meant to facilitate the sharing of ideas between your practitioner and yourself. Becoming a patient of our naturopathic clinic is a partnership where we provide you with the clinical expertise and you commit to taking action in a warm and supportive environment.