Virtual Clinic for Women's Hormonal Health & Digestion in Ontario


Naturopathic Mentorship

Dr. Sarah Goulding Naturopathic Doctor

Naturopathic Mentorship

I am a naturopathic doctor at an amazing time. When I started practicing 15 years ago, it was a bit of an uphill battle to build my practice. Luckily I had courage and support, and jumped right into the challenge starting my own clinic in Sudbury right out of naturopathic college (4 years of education after a 4 year undergraduate degree). The hard part however, is that I was cross jumping industries, and with a background in neuroscience and medicine, I now had to not only navigate, but succeed in this new business ecosystem. Combined with my respectable work ethic, I lucked into finding some great practitioners and was able to build an awesome little clinic that continues to operate now (and is still expanding under the direction of one of our first physiotherapists). 

The thing is, I am an exception, not the rule. There is a VERY high attrition rate in the naturopathic field (meaning not a high number of qualified naturopathic doctors that are still in practice after 10 years). Naturopathic school is not cheap ($20,000 per year for 4 years AFTER an undergraduate degree). So starting out your career in debt, and then not making more than $20,000 per year for the first few years is difficult financial math to wade through. 

A way that I have attempted to assist new naturopathic grads is to lean into mentorship. By bringing on a naturopathic student in 2nd and 3rd year as a preceptor, and then bridging them into an internship role, and finally as a mentee, not only can we offer new grads a more sustainable income and more clinical experience, but we are also serving our patients by essentially duplicating ourselves by creating another practitioner with our same style of practice. 

Due to personal reasons I will have to reduce my clinic hours for the next couple years, and in that time I will focus on building up this model of mentorship that will disseminate our evidence-based quality health care to more naturopathic graduates and therefore more patients. To better serve our entire community, naturopathic medicine needs to become more affordable. In order to make it more affordable we need more NDs and we need them to not be drowning in debt. I’m taking the next couple years to take a step back, see the big picture, do a full case assessment of the system from my perspective, and do my best to set up the scaffolding of support that will help both aspects of the community. 

I understand that this will mean that I have less availability for patient visits, and I am very sensitive to this. My strategy to minimize any negative consequence on my patients are as follows:

  1. Taking on very few new patients so that the majority of my clinic time can be devoted to existing patient follow-ups.
  2. Rely on a co-care model of medicine, where I work in conjunction with our other naturopathic doctors to review cases and treatment plans, so that our patients get multiple medical minds problem solving and root cause investigating for them.
  3. I’m bringing on a new naturopathic doctor to specifically support patients using bioidentical hormones. 
  4. Better utilize Brooke, our Patient Care Coordinator, to communicate any administrative and logistical  issues relating to patient cases (lab testing questions, billing, etc). 


If you have any concerns or recommendations please do let me know! Existing patient follow-up appointment scheduling should not be an issue, so if you do have a challenge finding a spot please reach out asap and we’ll fit you in 🙂


Thanks for your understanding and support!

Dr. Sarah Goulding a Naturopathic Doctor

Your Doctor: Meet Dr. Sarah

Dr. Sarah Goulding is a licensed naturopathic doctor in Ontario and has a BSc in neuroscience and biology from Dalhousie University (2004), and did her 4-year naturopathic training at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (2010). She’s since accumulated over a decade of clinical experience, and refined her practice to focus on women’s health and digestion. She is licensed and registered as a Naturopathic Doctor in Ontario by The College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO) and is a member of the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (CAND) and the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors (OAND).

Dr. Sarah Goulding blends science and compassion, and acts as a personal health researcher to help you navigate your health. Tools that she uses include nutrition, supplements and botanicals, bioidentical hormones, and lifestyle modifications. The closer you get to the root cause, the gentler the therapies needed to resolve the issue.

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