An osteopath is a highly qualified primary health care professional. They are trained to diagnose their patients’ problems, selecting those they can help and knowing when to refer those with a need for other medical care. Hence osteopathic and medical students receive a very similar basic medical education. The osteopathic student has advanced training in detailed examination and diagnosis of body structure and mechanics. They receive training in anatomy, physiology, orthopedics and interpersonal communication not to mention intensive training in osteopathic manipulative therapy.
This education involves five years of full time study resulting in a Bachelor of Science and Masters Degree in Osteopathy.
Members of the Australian Osteopathic Association are committed to compulsory, ongoing post-graduate education.
This means that:
- Osteopaths are currently registered with the Department of Health in each state of Australia. From mid 2010 regulation will be national.
- No referral is necessary to see an osteopath as a private patient.
- Osteopathic treatment is covered by private health insurance, third party insurance, workers’ compensation and Medicare EPC