Physicians Who Listen: the Naturopathic Elevator Speech

IMG_0789What is naturopathic medicine? My colleagues and I are often stumped to answer the question. Not because we aren’t aware of what we do but because our philosophy has become so deeply ingrained in our own skin that it’s hard to separate it from the rest of us. What’s naturopathic medicine? Why, it’s everything! How do you explain that? One of our assignments for 3rd year Practice Management was to write an elevator speech, a short 60-second blurb explaining naturopathic medicine to a curious elevator mate. Here is the one I came up with. I hope it conveys that everyone can benefit from what naturopathic doctors do.

Naturopathic doctors are primary healthcare practitioners, like your GP, or family doctor. We go to 4 years of medical school after obtaining a 4-year undergraduate university degree. Our philosophy differs from that of medical doctors, however; it stems from the fact that the body and nature are our greatest healing tools. We know that, if we create the conditions for health, then we can prevent disease and enable the body to heal itself.

We believe in treating the root cause of disease and view symptoms as an attempt of the body to signal a greater underlying problem of imbalance, not simply something to be suppressed with medications.

When patients do get sick, we believe in using non-invasive, natural medicine – such as herbs, nutritional supplements, homeopathy, acupuncture, nutrition, among other tools – to gently help the body on the road back to health. 

We also advocate an individualized approach to health. We believe that no two people and no two diseases are the same. We treat people, not the disease they present with, and we take our time with patients – appointments are typically 1 hour in length – so that we can learn the patient’s story and understand what’s really going on with them.

In other words, naturopathic doctors are “physicians who listen.”

To book an appointment with me, starting in May 2013, at the Robert Schad Naturopathic Clinic in Toronto, Ontario call: 416-498-9763 The clinic is located at Leslie subway station at Leslie and Sheppard in North Toronto. Visits cost $41 and are covered by most insurance plans.

My clinic hours are:

Tuesday: 9 am – 1:00 pm

Thursday: 11 am – 3:00 pm

Friday: 3 pm – 7:00 pm

Saturday: 11 am – 3:00 pm


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