Jurisprudence

Jurisprudence prepares the student for the provincial licensing jurisprudence board exam. The course provides detailed instruction in the legislation governing health care practice in general and Naturopathic Medicine in particular. The focus of this course is on the administrative law called the Health Professions Act as applied to Naturopathic Doctors in the Province of British Columbia. The concept of Natural Justice and Jurisdictional Rules are discussed.

The bylaws for the College of Naturopathic Physicians of BC are discussed in detail as well as ethical aspects and considerations of clinical practice, including duties of the doctor, liability, negligence, standards of care, consent to treatment and confidentiality.

Leadership

The leadership course provides students with the ability to enhance and display their leadership qualities. Students will be facilitated through an appraisal of their own leadership, management, communication and entrepreneurial skills and will develop a learning action plan that supports their growth and success as clinicians and future professionals. This course will also assist students in the development of personal vision and mission statements, as well as a professional biography.

As the leadership course is designed to help students develop their personal abilities over the duration of their studies at the Boucher Institute, it is delivered periodically throughout the entirety of the program. 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 lays the foundation for a transitional bridge between the structure of the Boucher Institute and the open ended challenge of building a naturopathic practice. It is delivered as a component of the professional development program to allow students to explore business issues and to develop a business sense in tandem with their naturopathic education. The inclusion of this course in the curriculum allows student to graduate with the knowledge and support necessary to put these skills to good use in a viable naturopathic practice.

Early in the program practice management will focus on personal financial and life planning, business planning and professional behaviour and the financial aspects of business. Later in the program we will move into marketing and communications, explore the issues of the ND clinic owner and culminate in the completion of a business plan.

Topics 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 from research and published articles is an important skill for the practitioner. This course is aimed at developing these abilities in the learner 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 will 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.