Essential Skills and Abilities Required for the Study of Medicine

CCNM is responsible to society to provide a program of study enabling graduates to possess the knowledge, skills, professional behaviour and attitudes necessary to enter the regulated practice of naturopathic medicine. Graduates must be able to diagnose and manage health problems and provide compassionate primary care to their patients.

For this reason, students in the ND program must possess the cognitive, communication, sensory, motor and social skills necessary to interview, examine and counsel patients, and competently complete certain technical procedures in a reasonable time while ensuring patient safety.

Prospective applicants should note that cognitive, physical examination, management and communication skills, as well as professional behaviour, are all evaluated in timed simulations of patient encounters.

All applicants are expected to assess their ability to meet the standards set out in this policy. This policy does not preclude individuals with disabilities from attending the College. Applicants who anticipate requiring disability-related accommodation are responsible for notifying CCNM in a timely manner; however, applicants should be aware that the awarding of the program credential is dependent on candidates demonstrating skill in a number of areas, some of which require physical dexterity.

Due to the comprehensive and integrative nature of the curriculum, students are expected to complete the ND diploma within six years. Students with a disability may be granted an extension of time to complete the ND program. These requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

A candidate for the ND diploma must demonstrate the following abilities:

Observation skills

  • ability to demonstrate skills in observation. In particular, a student must be able to accurately observe a patient and acquire visual, auditory and tactile information

Communication skills

  • ability to speak to, hear and observe patients and coherently summarize a patient's condition and management plan, verbally and in writing
  • ability to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients, families, employees and other health-care practitioners

Motor skills

  • sufficient motor function to safely perform a physical examination on a patient, including palpation, auscultation and percussion
  • ability to use common diagnostic aids or instruments either directly or in an adaptive form (e.g., sphygmomanometer, stethoscope and needles)
  • ability to execute motor movements that are reasonably required to provide general and emergency medical care to patients

Intellectual-conceptual, integrative and quantitative abilities

  • demonstration of cognitive skills and memory necessary to measure, calculate and reason in order to analyze, integrate and synthesize information
  • ability to comprehend dimensional and spatial relationships
  • ability to perform all of these problem-solving activities in a timely fashion

Behavioural and social attributes

  • demonstration of the emotional health required for full utilization of his or her intellectual abilities
  • ability to apply good judgment and promptly complete all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients
  • development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients, families, employees and other health-care practitioners
  • ability to tolerate the physical, emotional and mental demands of the program and function effectively under stress
  • adaptability to changing environments and the ability to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the care of patients
  • demonstration of compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, intellectual curiosity and self-motivation

Health Requirements
All applicants must submit the results of a two-step tuberculin test conducted within the three months prior to enrolment. New students must also sign a Hepatitis B waiver or provide proof of Hepatitis B immunization prior to enrolment. All required forms will be included in the applicant’s admission package.

Criminal Background Check
All students should expect to submit a criminal background check prior to entry into clinic in their third year of study at CCNM.