How to Become an Osteopath in Canada-8 Best Steps

Searching for how to become an Osteopath in Canada? Then you must read to the end. Osteopaths are doctors whose diagnosis is based on the theory that the human body system is interconnected.

They practice an alternative form of medicine that is based on the physical manipulation of the body tissue, bones, and muscles.

They cure illness through a process of manipulation order-wise known as manual medicine. The manual medicine approach involves the use of physical hands in curing disease, through the process of body massage or applying pressure on specific areas of the body. 

They also ensure body maintenance and disease prevention through their approach. Osteopaths often serve as primary care providers in hospitals and can prescribe drugs, order medical tests and even go as far as performing a surgical operation on a sick patient.

They are trained to use their clinical judgment to identify patients for whom osteopathic treatment is appropriate, and not appropriate.

There are steps and necessary licensing you must acquire in order to become an Osteopath.

Just like obtaining an MD degree is mandatory to becoming a doctor, passing a medical board exam and obtaining a license is mandatory if you must become an Osteopath.

The profession of an osteopath could be a life-changing one and comes with great responsibility and privilege.

Therefore if you are considering a career possibility in osteopathy, then read through as we guide you through the best means of bringing this golden dream of yours to reality.

How to Become an Osteopath in Canada-8 Best Steps

  • Step 1: carry out a personal assessment

  • Step 2: Get your BS Degree

  • Step 3: Take the Medical College Admission Test

  • Step 4: Apply to and Graduate from an Osteopathic Medical Program

  • Step 5:  Earn the Required License & Certification

  • Step 6: Complete a Residency Program (4 Years)

  • Step 7: Continue to improve on yourself and advance in your career

  • Step 8: Join a union 

Now, let’s throw more light on how to become an Osteopath in Canada.

Step 1: carry out a personal assessment

The decision to become an Osteopath is a promising one and comes with a great deal of responsibility.

Therefore, before you have even searched for how to become an Osteopath in Canada, you must have made some decisions.

However, you should carry out a personal check on yourself, to determine if this career path is suitable for you.

Some of the personal/physical traits you should look out  for are listed below :

  • Being highly independent and self-motivated

  • Being Interested in health science and human anatomy

  • Must have a good hand-eye coordination

  • Must possess Good communication skills

  • Must have been Interested in people and  their health as well

Step 2: Get your BS Degree

The second step on how to become an osteopath in Canada is to start and complete an undergraduate degree, in clinical science at an accredited university.

Your undergraduate degree program qualifies you for a postgraduate in osteopathy. Another similar process or approach could be obtaining a double degree in health science and applied science (osteopathy).

To get into a degree program in the first place, you will need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education.

This certificate prepares you for undergraduate study while testing your basic knowledge and understanding of required courses like English, mathematics, chemistry, biology, and physics.

When you choose a science major in your undergraduate, you will be taught the basics of human anatomy and physiology including general and organic chemistry.

This course is meant to build your foundation as you study the human body, and how they are interconnected.

It is important to note that entry to postgraduate school, requires completion of an appropriate bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, and this process as well could be quite competitive.

Step 3: Take the Medical College Admission Test

The next step after obtaining your degree program is to pass the osteopathic physician education requirements for medical school.

In order to get into med school, you will need to sit for the Medical College Admission Test or the MCAT. 

This test is a requirement for med school entry, and only tests your knowledge of biology, chemistry, and human behavior as well as your reading comprehension.

The Medical College Admission Test typically costs about $320 and lasts for a duration of seven and a half hours.

Step 4: Apply to and Graduate from an Osteopathic Medical Program

The next step after writing, and passing the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), will be to apply to a medical school that offers osteopathic medical training.

This school offers hands-on training in osteopathy. In addition to conventional medical training, you will be subjected to about 200 hours of training in osteopathic manipulative medicine.

This training involves a series of processes including manipulating a patient musculoskeletal system to help restore their natural body functions while enhancing their ability to self-heal.

Osteopathic medical school programs last for a period of four years. 


Step 5:  Earn the Required License & Certification

upon completion of your medical school, you will need a license in order to practice. Just Like doctors who have an MD degree, individuals who are doctors of osteopathy must write and pass the medical board examination in order to be issued a license. 

Doctors of osteopathy must register through the medical licensing Council of physicians (CFP), or they could as well, decide to register with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC). 

After you complete medical school, you have to apply for your medical license and after all your training, you can apply to take an exam (depending on your specialty) and get your board certification. When searching for steps on how to become an Osteopath in Canada, this is a very vital step.

Step 6: Complete a Residency Program (4 Years)

After medical school, you have to complete your residency. During this time, you will be supervised by other healthcare professionals and get hands-on training, to build upon your skills and confidence, to allow you to independently practice.

During your residency, you can expect to work for anywhere from three to eight years in a clinical or hospital setting. It’s here you can really hone in on your skills and build upon your knowledge.

Step 7:  Continue to improve on yourself and advance in your career

If you are looking toward building a very strong and solid career as a paramedic, then you must consider improving yourself constantly.

Improving yourself means, consciously working towards acquiring the relevant skill set needed to set you apart in your career.

Osteopathic doctors can also improve their career by earning board certification. Requirements for certification in specific specialties can vary, but typically, osteopathic doctors should be licensed and have completed a residency program.

After meeting eligibility requirements and successfully passing an exam, board certification will be awarded. Osteopathic doctors are required to meet various certification renewal mandates, such as taking continuing medical education courses.

Step 8: Join a union 

Lastly on how to become an Osteopath in Canada, Joining a union comes with lots of advantages. Union members often enjoy some privileges, and benefits other workers do not enjoy.

Labor unions give workers the power to negotiate prices for a more favorable working environment, with other benefits through collective pricing.

Some of these advantages could be listed as follows:

  • Higher Wages than their nonunion counterparts.

  • improved work Benefits.  Union workers are more likely to have employer-provided pensions and gratuity including health insurance.

  • Safer Workplace.

  • The voice on the job. 

  • Job security etc

Osteopathic Medicine Salary & Job Outlook

The median salary range of an Osteopathic is $190,419 as of the year 2020. According to this salary is however not constant and varies from  $149,703 to $246,351 each year according to physicians .

This salary structure varies across osteopaths with differences in years of work experience and levels of education.

Osteopaths with less than a year experience, earn as low as $177,050 while their conterpants with several years of experience, earn as high as  $211,289.

This difference in salary structure also varies with specialty and is listed below as:

  • Internal Medicine: $200,513

  • General Surgeon: $285,960

  • Family Medicine: $192,137

  • Pediatrician: $154,216

Therefore, Osteopathic doctors need to have a medical degree, with years of industry working experience, in order to increase their chances of earning a high salary. 

Difference Between a DO and an MD

Doctor of Osteopathy, DO for short, and Medical doctor, are quite a different profession entirely, however they share a few characteristics. 

While DO is awarded to graduates of college of Osteopathic medicine, MD is awarded to students that graduate from allopathic medical school. 

Students of Osteopathic medical schools tend to focus on more holistic aspects of healthcare than allopathic medical schools.

However, both DO and MD students are  matched into residency programs through the same process after completing their years of medical study.

Osteopathic techniques

Having seen how to become an Osteopath in Canada, won’t you like to know some osteopathic techniques?

An Osteopath seeks to restore the normal body working conditions, as well as the body joints through the manipulation of the body tissue.

They treat people using their hands while applying a mixture of both gentle bodily touch and forceful touch as well.

Some of the techniques employed in the process of healing are based solely on the patients and the symptoms they exhibit. Some of these techniques could be reported as follows

  • Massage – this technique seeks to release and relax the muscles.

  • Stretching stiff joints – this helps in stretching and easing out stiff joints.

  • High-velocity thrusts-   this involves the process of applying short and sharp movements to the spines, which produces a clicking noise similar to the cracking of your knuckles.

All these different techniques seek to achieve one singular aim and purpose, which is to reduce body pains, improve body movement, and encourage blood flow to all parts of the body.

Osteopathy techniques are sometimes believed to be painful, however, it is not, although it could feel unusual to feel stiff or sore within the first few days, particularly if you have been treated for an inflamed injury.

Usually, your osteopath is brief on the likely pain or reactions you will get during or after treatment. 

Your Osteopath doctor may as well direct you on self-help exercises to aid prevent a possible aggravation of symptoms, and prevent them from getting worse.

Regulation of Osteopaths in Canada

Before you can practice as an osteopath, you must by law be registered with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) for short.

Registration with GOsC is only accepted from osteopaths with qualifications that are well recognized by GosC, as well as those that comply strictly with their laid out standards.

The GOsC certificaciones is renewed annually, and part of the renewal process involves an insurance check, a check to ensure if practitioners are meeting up to professional development requirements while maintaining a good health condition.

You can also make a complaint to GOsC on the occasion of neglect, or lack of professionality from an osteopath doctor.

GOsC regulations were set up in order to ensure the safety of patients and are not a guarantee that this approach of treatment is effective.

Osteopathy School Requirements

In order to become an osteopath, you must have completed a 4 to 5 years honors degree programme  (bachelor’s or master’s), which involves at least 1,000 hours of in-house clinical training. This must also be considered when considering how to become an Osteopath in Canada.

When it should not be used

The use of Osteopathic treatment is based on the type of health issues being exhibited by the patient. This treatment is usually narrowed down to individual patients and is usually not recommended, where there is a perceived risk of spine damage.

On occasions where an additional physical touch could lead to fracture or dislocation, the use of osteopathic treatment is usually not advised.

This implies that individuals with certain kinds of health conditions may not be able to undergo an Osteopathy treatment, or may only be able to undergo a different osteopathy treatment, which may be gentler than the normal techniques.

These health conditions may  include but are not limited to:

  • blood clotting disorders, such as hemophilia
  • Fractures
  • multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • acute inflammatory conditions, such as some types of arthritis
  • Infections
  • osteoporosis
  • cancer

More so, Osteopathic treatment is also not recommended if you’re:

  • taking blood-thinning medicines, such as warfarin
  • having a course in radiotherapy

Pregnant women can also undergo osteopath treatment; however, it has to be based on professional advice from a midwife.

Even on advice from a professional, care should be taken to meet an Osteopath who specializes in muscle or joint pain during pregnancy. 

Conclusion on how to become an osteopath in Canada. 

An osteopath employs the use of manipulation to heal and maintain the human health condition of sick patients.

The use of this approach is not usually advised, most especially for people with bone-related sickness, that further physical touch might lead to fracture or dislocation.

The profession of an osteopath is no doubt a breathtaking profession, with lots of benefits and of course disadvantages as well.

In addition to the financial benefits that comes with the profession, some people derive joy in helping sick patients return back to their normal life.

If you are one of those, then what are you waiting for? why don’t you take that bold step towards fulfilling your life dreams, now you have known how to become an Osteopath in Canada

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