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  • Writer's pictureDr. Ciera Fox

Benefits of Virtual Naturopathic Consultations

How we approach healthcare is changing—telemedicine may be the answer for a more accessible and personal care for the masses.

Though the pandemic had an undeniable, negative impact on health care, one positive that came out of its many trials is how widely accepted telecare has become. While it was the only option during the many months of lockdown, now patients across the country are opting to continue utilizing virtual telemedicine options post-restrictions. I have personally witnessed this shift during my four years of practice at a clinic in Chilliwack, BC. Recently, I have made the decision to fully embrace a virtual practice to better serve my new and existing patients.

What is an online naturopathic physician?

Virtual naturopathic physicians are required to have the same education and certifications as any ND you would visit in person. The aim of online naturopathic medicine remains the same: help individuals reach optimal health by treating the underlying cause of disease rather than the symptom. One of the key reasons I was initially drawn to naturopathic medicine is because of how beautifully it combines art and science to support each individual's natural healing process. With virtual naturopathic care, patients are able to receive the same level of care and treatment plans as they would with in-clinic visits.

What are the benefits of virtual naturopathic consultations?

After four years of my traditional, in-person naturopathic practice, I have opted to transition into virtual telemedicine to better support my patients. There are many benefits for choosing virtual naturopathic care:

  • Accessibility. Virtual consultations allow for more convenient access to care, especially for individuals with mobility issues and other factors that may prevent them from utilizing in-person care, such as childcare.

  • Flexibility. Since virtual naturopathic consultations are done in the comfort of your own home, there is no commute necessary. This means virtual appointments are more convenient and easier to fit into your busy schedule even if this means taking the appointment from your office.

  • More choice. By choosing a virtual naturopathic physician, you, as a patient, are able to find the right practitioner from you, free of geographical limitations. This is particularly a benefit to individuals who live in remote or rural areas and have fewer local options. It is vital that you feel comfortable with your naturopathic doctor—take the time to find the right fit for you.

  • Simplified. With the infrastructure in place to provide secure online care, reaching out to your naturopathic doctor with any concerns or questions that arise is easy. Simply email me to set up a last-minute online meeting with me from anywhere.

  • Personalized. Many patients feel more comfortable to voice their concerns when in the comfort of their own home, without the restrictions of outside factors. One of the greatest aspects about being an online naturopathic physician is that I am afforded the time to really listen and understand what is going on with each one of my patients. Plus with virtual appointments, patients have ultimately privacy free from waiting room waits, etc.

What can I expect during a virtual naturopathic consultation?

Each naturopathic doctor may approach their telemedicine practice slightly differently, so I can only speak to what patients can expect when booking a virtual naturopathic consultation with me.

All new patients are welcome to book in for a complimentary 15-minute consultation to meet with me and see if we are the right fit. In this initial meeting, I’ll share a little bit about myself and my professional background. During this time, you’ll also be able to ask any questions about how telemedicine works and what to expect from your treatment plan.

If you decide to move ahead, I will send you an intake and consent form that can be filled out electronically via a secure link a minimum of 48 hours before your initial appointment. During your initial 75-minute virtual appointment (which can be taken via video or phone call) I will conduct a thorough health assessment, discussing any recent lab work or diagnostic testing results pertaining to your health concerns as well as any of your current medications and supplements.

The goal of this initial virtual visit is to address your primary health concerns. A great deal of this time is used to identify the most immediate medical issues, while gathering a thorough health history. Treatment can begin immediately after the first visit, with follow up appointments scheduled in the following one to four weeks depending on the health concern being treated. Any patient who has not had an appointment with me in the last two years, is required to book a new patient appointment prior to continuing with 30-minute follow-ups appointments.

Who is eligible to see a virtual naturopathic physician?

Generally speaking, anyone can book and benefit from virtual naturopathic consultations. I offer patients in British Columbia the opportunity to receive the same personalized care they would receive in a clinical space, in the comfort of their own home. I also offer in-person services, such as intramuscular injections, botox and filler, at two locations: The Refinery House and Silhouette Laser & Spa, both located in Chilliwack, BC.

Are virtual naturopathic consultations covered by my health insurance?

If you have naturopathic medical coverage, it is more than likely that a portion of your virtual naturopathic appointments will be covered. Most extended health care plans will cover a portion of the cost of your visit, supplements and diagnostic testing. MSP supplementary benefits can be difficult to navigate—it is important to research what services are eligible for coverage. I am happy to provide insight where I can.

Booking Your Virtual Naturopathic Consultation

Still unsure if your health concerns can be treated virtually? Book your complimentary 15-minute consultation with me and I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have about health/treatment plans. My primary priority with all of my patients is to provide a personalized, preventive approach that will allow them to live as healthy as possible—and have a voice in their own healthcare. Click here to book your complimentary discovery appointment.

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