Optometrists, Chiropractors and Other Health Diagnosing and Treating Professionals

Optometrists examine, diagnose, treat, manage and prevent diseases/disorders of the eye and prescribe and dispense eyeglasses and contact lenses. Chiropractors diagnose and treat disorders of the neuromusculoskeletal system with manipulation and other techniques and provide holistic health care. Osteopathic physicians diagnose, treat and prescribe for patientsí medical, surgical and obstetrical problems. Naturopathic doctors diagnose, treat and prevent disease/disorders using natural non-invasive therapies and hands on techniques such as acupuncture/Asian medicine, botanical (herbal) medicine, clinical nutrition, homeopathic medicine, physical medicine and lifestyle counseling.


  • An optometrist needs at least three years in a math/science program at a university or college, plus a four-year university degree in optometry, accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education. You are also required to pass the national examination administered by the Canadian Examiners in Optometry prior in establishing a practice in the NWT. You also require a license from the provincial or territorial governing body.
  • A chiropractor must complete a three-year math/science university program and complete a degree from an accredited chiropractic college. You are also required to pass the Canadian Chiropractic Examining Board and territorial exam.
  • An osteopathic physician requires a university degree, plus a four-year osteopathic medicine program and two to five years of postgraduate training.
  • A naturopathic doctor requires a minimum of three years of university studies with specific prerequisite science courses and a four-year accredited naturopathic medicine program. You must also pass the naturopathic physicians licensing examinations (NPLEX).
  • All ophthalmic technicians and technologists are required to be certified through the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO) and be licensed through the GNWT.
  • Podiatrists must complete a three-year diploma program in chiropody in Canada, or a first-degree program in podiatric medicine from the UK. A provincial license may also be required.
  • Osteopaths must have a bachelor degree before completing a four-year osteopathic medicine program, usually available in the United States. Completion of a one-year residency may also be required. A provincial license may be required as well.