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.
WHAT IS THE COURSE STRUCTURE?
- The course is run in six-week modules. (for details of those modules click here During that time there are 4 full days of classroom instruction. It is expected that students will need to spend between 18-24 hours each week in home study. However, CIOT offers extensive online support through an exhaustive presentation of video materials. For details please click here EOM Academy, in Spanish for now.
WHERE IS CIOT BASED?
The program is administered and presented in Calgary Alberta. The language of instruction is English.
WHY A FIVE YEAR PROGRAM?
- Choosing where you will take your education in osteopathic manual practice requires careful thought. EOM was established 30 years ago and is now, through CIOT, offering its program in Canada. There are shorter programs at other institutions, some much shorter, a matter of weeks! These might seem attractive, but it is vital to understand that osteopathy is much more than just learning techniques. At CIOT, our concern is with those features of osteopathic manual practice that differentiate it from other forms of therapy. The most important of these features is palpation, touch. This cannot be understood or learned by an online program nor in a matter of a few hours.
- Graduates of the EOM will join the established profession of osteopathy. A profession that is distinguished and dedicated to improve patients’ health and their enjoyment of life. CIOT will graduate student who are fully able to appreciate osteopathic principles and practices. Crucially CIOT graduates will be able to properly administer techniques which the fully understand in a safe and professional manner. This takes time.
- Osteopathic therapy is currently an unregulated profession within Canada. However, for the last two years the Quebec government has been investigating the best way to have this changed. Regulation will mean stricter controls over who can be accredited, and who the insurance companies approve. The days of the short, online courses offering a dubious education in osteopathy are numbered.
- Increasingly insurance companies are reassessing the validity of many of the courses being offered by unproven schools of osteopathy in Canada. Thanks to efforts by the Canadian Federation of Osteopaths and the better provincial organisations they are understanding and accepting that osteopathy needs to be properly taught, by properly trained and qualified teachers.
- The tightening up of the scrutiny given by insurance companies will mean that many students who have taken the less professional and less established courses will find themselves unapproved, with the consequent adverse effect on their income. Take away insurance company recognition and you take away most, if not all, of an osteopathic therapist’s income.
WHY THE CANADIAN INSTITUTE OF OSTEOPATHIC THERAPY?
- The program offered by the institute is the same as is taught in over 70 branches of EOM in over 30 countries and has been established for 29 years.
- The tutors of the program are all osteopaths who have undergone rigorous training to teach. They not only can practice osteopathy, but they have been taught how to best pass on that knowledge
- The program is already recognised by Osteopathic Associations which in turn are approved by Canadian insurance companies.