Prescribing Upgrade

Are you a licensed naturopathic doctor looking to acquire prescribing authority?


The pharmacology upgrade course is offered to all registered naturopathic physicians wishing to add prescriptive rights to their practice. The course and all supporting materials are available online to allow registrants the freedom to work and study at their own pace, and then sign up for the next examination when ready. It is recommended that registrants allow 3 to 4 months of preparation before attempting the exam.

Dear Prescribing Course registrants,

The next Prescribing Exam is scheduled for Saturday, October 24, 2020.

The exam registration deadline is Saturday, October 10, 2020.

ALL course registrants ARE REQUIRED to confirm by email their attendance (or deferring) the exam by the exam registration deadline.

Please note: registration for April & July 2020 Prescribing exam is moved to Fall 2020 exam now.

We appreciate your kind understanding and patience as we all navigate through these unprecedented times.


The assessment procedure takes place in two parts at the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine. Each must be successfully completed by participants in order to complete the program. Both parts of the exam are finished on the same day and the entire examination takes between 4 and 5 hours.

Part I is a one-on-one oral assessment exam. Participants will be given 3, 1-2-page cases, which will include background information, a brief description of the patient’s chief concerns, the diagnosis, the current drug therapy, and pertinent lab values. Participants will be given 25 minutes per case to develop a prescribing plan, which includes writing a prescription and a follow-up evaluation of the patient. Participants will be given all 3 cases when they begin the oral exam and have 75 min of preparation time where they will have access to written references as needed. After the preparation time, participants will meet with an oral assessor for approximately 20 min/case.

Part II is an open book, multiple-choice examination. The exam will consist of approximately 100 questions and will take two hours.

Registrants should see the TEC website for more on the exam.

Exam Information

Where: Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine

Next Prescribing Upgrade Exam: Saturday, October 24, 2020

Exam registration deadline: Saturday, October 10, 2020

ALL course registrants ARE REQUIRED to confirm by email their attendance (or deferring) the exam by the exam registration deadline.

Please note that being registered for the course does not mean that you are registered for the exam.

Email to be registered for the exam and make sure you receive a confirmation that you have been added to the exam registration list.

If you have any questions regarding the course or exam registration, please contact Olena Lyaskalo at

If you have any problem with getting access to the course materials, please contact Sakariya Aynashe at

Boucher Institute accommodates two exams per year, in October and April.

Support Forum

The Support Forum is administered by Therapeutics Education Collaboration.

It is an opportunity for course participants to ask questions and seek clarification on source content.

The forum will have approximately 200 questions for practice and discussion. Each question will provide feedback on your choices, correct or not, to walk you through the decision making process and refine your approach to prescribing.


  • I understand that pharmacology is not covered in the prescribing course and that it is based only on prescribing. Are we going to be given a guideline for what information we have to know for the exam regarding pharmacology?

While pharmacology will not be the focus of the course, a level of understanding is expected in order to understand prescribing choices and monitor implications. You will find that the readings from that text are referenced in the reading lists. Up to one third of the examination will refer to the pharmacological information from this material.


  • Which drugs and what information on each is on the exam (e.g. dosing, indications, contraindications, interactions)?

The exam will be based on the assigned readings. Focus on the readings in general to prepare for the first lecture, which will allow you to refine what you are studying if needed.


  • Can doctors outside the Lower Mainland take the exam remotely?

Unfortunately, remote attendance is not possible at this time. We apologize for any inconvenience this causes, but it is necessary to travel to Vancouver for the duration of the exam.


  • I have the book list, could you provide more practical guidance on how to catch up on the assumed background for the course?

Begin with the textbook readings, and seek additional support on our forum. Your instructor will monitor the activity on the forum, and if it seems people need help they will set up additional support.


  • If I am not prepared to write the exam, when will there be another opportunity?

The dates will be announced well before the next exam is offered. If you would like to be notified when this happens please contact:

Fees & Registration

The Pharmacy Course online registration is now OPEN.

The Pharmacy Exam Re-Write online registration is now OPEN.

  • Pharmaceutical Prescribing Course for BC Naturopaths – $850 – Register online
  • Exam Re-Write (Oral portion) – $250
  • Exam Re-Write (Written portion) – $160
  • Exam Re-Write (Full exam) – $410
  • Jurisprudence Re-Write – $65

Register online for any of the above exam re-writes.

Please note: we can only accept payment for Naturopaths who are practicing in BC. Course and exam fees are non-refundable.


Dr. James McCormack, BSc (Pharm.), PharmD
Professor, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, UBC

Dr. James McCormack received his undergraduate pharmacy degree at the University of British Columbia in 1982. He received his doctorate in pharmacy (PharmD) in 1986 from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina. Dr. McCormack’s focus is on shared-informed decision-making using evidence-based information and rational therapeutic principles. He has presented over 300 seminars on drug therapy, has published over 100 articles in medical literature, mainly in the area of rational drug therapy, and worked as an editor for two internationally recognized textbooks on appropriate/rational drug therapy.

Dr. Adil Virani, BSc (Pharm.), PharmD, FCSHP
Director, Pharmacy Services, Fraser Health Authority; Associate Professor, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, UBC

Dr. Virani received his undergraduate and doctorate degrees from the UBC, and is a Fellow of the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists. He works as a director with Pharmacy Services at Fraser Health, Vancouver Coastal Health, Providence Health Care and Provincial Health Services Authority. Dr. Virani is also an associate professor with the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UBC. He has over 30 publications and has delivered over 100 presentations. He is the lead editor of a 372 page book entitled the Clinical Handbook of Psychotropic Drugs, which is now in its 18th edition and is the 2009 American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year. He also co-wrote a similar handbook for children and adolescents.

In addition to his role on the Education Working Group of the Therapeutics Initiative, Dr. Virani is a core member of the Canadian Optimal Medication Prescribing and Utilization Service (COMPUS) Expert Review Committee and a member of the Human Drug Advisory Panel (HDAP) of the Patented Medicines Prices Review Board (PMPRB).

Course Content

All course content can be found at Therapeutics Education. You will receive an account and login information for this site within three business days of registering for the Prescribing Upgrade course.

*This program does not require approval by the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training. As such, PTIB did not review this program.