Regulating the practice of osteopathy and preventing practice by unqualified Practitioners requires a proper system of training, examination and licensing.

Benchmarks for training have to take into consideration the following:

  • Content of the training
  • Method of the training
  • To whom the training is to be provided and by whom
  • The roles and responsibilities of the future practitioner
  • The level of education required in order to undertake training

Two Types

Experts in osteopathy distinguish two types of training depending on prior training and clinical experience of trainees.

 

Type I

Type I training programs are aimed at those with little or no prior health-care training, but who have completed high school education or equivalent. These programs typically are four-year, full-time programs. Supervised clinical training at an appropriate osteopathic clinical facility is an essential component, and students may be required to complete a thesis or project. We do not offer this training in our program.

Type II

Type II training programs are aimed at those with prior training as health-care professionals. Type II programs have the same aims and content as the Type I programs, but the course content and length may be modified depending on the prior experience and training of individual applicants. In some cases, the development of a Type II programs may be a temporary step pending the development of Type I programs in osteopathy.

Experts in osteopathy consider that acquiring appropriate mastery of osteopathy to be able to practice as primary-contact health-care professionals, independently or as members of a health-care team in various settings, requires time.

A typical Type I program would take 4200 hours, including at least 1000 hours of supervised clinical practice and training. Osteopathic skills and physical examination training must be delivered via direct contact. Other academic curricular content may be delivered by various staff and in various training formats. Training may be full-time, part-time or a combination of the two.

While training of the osteopathy focuses on those subjects and skills that form the basis for the osteopathic approach, basic knowledge and understanding of the common allopathic medical treatments available to patients are necessary for competent practice as a primary-contact health-care practitioner. In addition, the osteopathic practitioner must also understand the rationale behind common standard treatment protocols; how the body responds to these treatments; and how the protocols may influence the selection and implementation of osteopathic treatment.

All elements of the curriculum are delivered in the context of focusing on the patient rather than the disease, viewing the patient as someone who seeks the facilitation of their optimum health, and on the importance of the patient and practitioner forming a therapeutic partnership.

Practical Supervised Clinical Experience

Osteopathic manipulative treatment is a distinctive component of osteopathy. It requires both cognitive and sensory motor skills, and knowledge, and the development of these clinical and manual skills requires time and practice. Supervised clinical practice is an essential component of the training of osteopathic practitioners and should take place in an appropriate osteopathic clinical environment so that high-quality clinical support and teaching can be provided. This will include a minimum of 1000 hours of supervised clinical practice.

Adaptation of Type I to Type II Programs

The Type II program is designed to enable other health-care professionals to become qualified osteopathic practitioners. The syllabus and curriculum for Type II programs will vary depending upon the prior health-care training and clinical experience of each individual student. Graduates of Type II programs must demonstrate the same competencies of osteopathy as graduates of Type I programs. This program typically has a duration of 1000 hours, to be adapted depending on the individual’s prior training and knowledge.

The Manual Osteopathic Program offered by NMOC is a Type 2 program designed for those with a minimum of 2 years of prior health care training by a recognized accredited school.

Our Program offers 1884 hours including 400 hours of clinical training presented in 14 modules over 11 months.

When evaluating and comparing programs, you must know the number of instructional and clinical hours provided, NOT how long it takes to complete the program.