THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN OSTEOPATHIC PHYSICIAN AND OSTEOPATHIC THERAPIST?
The Canadian Federation of Osteopaths explains the situation in Canada in the following way:-
“There are two streams of osteopathy recognized internationally, a medical stream of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons, and a manual stream of Osteopaths.
Canada represents a unique situation as it is one of a few countries worldwide in which both streams of osteopathy are represented within the different provinces. Currently, the medical stream of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons falls under the legislation and licensure of the individual provincial Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons.
Individual associations represent Osteopaths provincially. The Canadian Federation of Osteopaths (CFO) in turn, represents these provincial associations nationally. The CFO maintains membership in the international body, the Osteopathic International Alliance (OIA). The purpose of the OIA is to advance the practice of manual osteopathy and osteopathic medicine throughout the world.
Osteopathic Physicians have a long history in Canada, dating back to the turn of the last century. Despite small numbers, they obtained medical practice rights for physicians who graduated from the United States (US) medical schools, approved by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). As a result, in certain provinces, the title “Osteopath” is reserved for graduates of US medical schools only. Due to increasing numbers of Osteopathic Therapists in Canada, there is a growing need for provincial governments to recognize both streams.”
It should also be noted that there are less than 50 Osteopathic physicians in Canada. This is largely due to the requirement that such physicians must have graduated from a recognised university in the USA. There are no exceptions to this.