Jurisprudence

Boucher’s Jurisprudence professional development courses prepare the student for the provincial licensing jurisprudence board exam. Students will receive instruction on the legislation that governs healthcare practice in general and Naturopathic Medicine in particular. The focus of this course rests on the Health Professions Act as applied to Naturopathic Doctors in BC. The concept of Natural Justice and Jurisdictional Rules are discussed and explored.

The bylaws for the College of Naturopathic Physicians of BC are also explored. Included in this conversation are the ethical aspects and considerations of clinical practice – duties of the doctor, liability, negligence, standards of care, consent to treatment and confidentiality.

Leadership

In this course, students will appraise their own leadership, management, communication and entrepreneurial skills. After identifying their particular strengths and weaknesses, students will develop a learning action plan that supports their growth and success as clinicians and future professionals. Students are also assisted in developing their personal vision and mission statements, as well as a professional biography.

The leadership course is designed to help students develop their personal abilities over the duration of their studies at the Boucher Institute. As such, it is delivered periodically over the course of the degree. Leadership classes offered in the first year focus on creating a “signature presence,” and developing strategies for success that include goal planning, time management, productivity and efficiency. In the second year, the focus is on appreciative inquiry and communication, including applied management theory and public speaking. The third year will continue with an inventory of leadership skills and includes a business centre tour, while the fourth year will move into systems thinking, strategic planning and creative/innovative marketing.

Naturopathic Ethics

Naturopathic ethics focuses on developing the student’s ability to analyze many of the ethical issues that will arise throughout their professional careers. The course begins with an introduction to the professional roles and responsibilities of the naturopathic physician as a health care professional. It starts from the premise that responsibility to others invariably presupposes responsibility to self, and focuses on the integral “owning” of the professional promise to serve the well being and best interests of patients and society. Students will be introduced to philosophical traditions that ground Western moral and ethical thought. They will then learn to use a model for decision making that will facilitate their efforts to work through ethical issues and dilemmas in the context of health care practice. This framework will guide students in working through topics and issues such as informed consent, right to refuse treatment, patient privacy and confidentiality, cultural issues, respect for persons of difference, ageism, maintenance of professional relationships and boundaries, providing equity in the delivery of health care services, abortion and life and death decision making.

Practice Management

Practice management helps students transition from the structure of the Boucher Institute to the challenge of building a naturopathic practice. It is delivered as a component of the professional development program to help students explore business issues and to develop a business sense alongside their naturopathic education.

Practice management will begin with a focus on personal financial and life planning, business planning and professional behaviour and the financial aspects of business. Later, the program moves into marketing and communications, explores the issues of the ND clinic owner, and culminates in the completion of an individual business plan.

Additional topics for discussion include: professional licensing, practice options, office planning, practice building, referrals, marketing, public relations, fee structures, record maintenance, medical legal reports, taxes, bookkeeping and accounting, the use of computers in business, trouble-shooting, human resources, financial planning, professional liability, insurance requirements and the creation of a business plan.

Research

The ability to discern valid from faulty logic while investigating conclusions is an important skill for the practitioner. This course develops these abilities by examining the validity and reliability of research findings, increasing the ability to investigate research, analyzing research design and data collection models, understanding the purpose of using statistics and developing analytical and critical thinking skills.

This course is designed to provide students with an introductory understanding of research methods, clinical epidemiology, evidence based clinical practice and research issues pertaining to Naturopathic Medicine. Its aim is to enable students to identify, interpret, appraise and apply research relating to health care. Students will gain an understanding of the research literature and its implication for clinical practice, as well as the ability to apply valid information from the medical literature to educate themselves and their patients.

The first two years of the program focus on research literacy and literature appraisal using periodic lectures and seminars on specific topics, along with regular small group discussions and tutorials. In the third and fourth years of the program, students will participate in various forms of research activity, ranging from writing case reports to conducting projects under the guidance of a mentor.