An Osteopath in Canada refers to a Medical Doctor that has specialized his training in Osteopath Therapy. There are currently no schools in Canada that provide this specialized training, and there are currently between 20-30 Osteopaths nation wide. In Canada the terms “Osteopath”, and “Osteopathic Physician” are both protected titles under the College of Physicians and Surgeons in most, if not all provinces and territories.
Manual Osteopathic Therapists or Osteopathic Manual Therapists (the terms are interchangeable) are non-physicians who have been trained in a specialized school of Osteopathy. According to the World Health Organization there are 2 different types of Manual Osteopathic Therapists. The first training program – which is referred to as type 1 – is “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 a project.” (World Health Organization, Benchmarks for Training in Osteopathy, 2010. P7.) A typical type 1 program would take 4200 hours, including at least 1000 hours of supervised clinical practice and training. The second training program – which is referred to as type 2 – is “aimed at those with prior training as health-care professionals. Type 2 programs have the same aims and content as the Type 1 programs, but the course content and length may be modified depending on the prior experience and training of individual applicants.” (World Health Organization, Benchmarks for Training in Osteopathy, 2010., P7.) This program is typically around 1000 hours in length and is adapted depending on the individuals prior training and knowledge.