The COA represents graduates from Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine accredited by the Canadian and American Osteopathic Associations who are registered for medical practice by their provincial College of Physicians and Surgeons. Osteopathic Physicians have been providing comprehensive medical care in Canada since the early 1900's. The COA was established in 1926 and continues to represent the osteopathic medical profession in all provincial and federal matters regarding legislation and medical licensure.
An Osteopathic Physician, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, or Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O.) must complete the same comprehensive medical education as their allopathic MD colleagues. In addition they must complete comprehensive training in bio-mechanical assessment of the musculoskeletal system and treatment including osteopathic manipulative therapy.
After graduation from 4 years of intensive medical education, osteopathic physicians must further complete residency medical training in a specialty field of their choosing. They must then complete specialty certification examinations as well as medical licensure examinations required for registration with a provincial college of physicians and surgeons.
Currently, there are more than 120,000 Osteopathic Physicians in North America.
The COA represents only qualified and licensed practitioners
Be advised that currently there are various non-physician practitioners presenting themselves as Osteopaths or 'Osteopathic Practitioners', practicing outside of legislation in Canada, who do not hold the comprehensive medical, surgical, and musculoskeletal training required for registration with a provincial medical regulatory authority in Canada.
Only physicians who have trained at Osteopathic Medical Schools within the United States of America under the accreditation of the American Osteopathic Association and returned to Canada to practice medicine are represented by the Canadian Osteopathic Association.
When consulting an osteopathic practitioner, the COA recommends that you make sure your D.O. has completed a COA/AOA approved program and is registered to practice in your province by the college of physicians and surgeons. Please be aware that there are unqualified and non-licensed practitioners in Canada claiming to be Osteopaths or 'Osteopathic Practitioners'. If in doubt, the COA recommends that you check your practitioner’s credentials and assure that they are licensed to practice by contacting your Provincial College of Physicians and Surgeons. Only COA/AOA recognized osteopathic graduates have the comprehensive osteopathic medical education necessary to provide thorough differential diagnosis and treatment.
Despite a variety of business websites promoting training and certification in osteopathy within Canada, there are no government recognized or accredited colleges of osteopathy of Canada. Only those graduates from American colleges of osteopathic medicine accredited by the Canadian and American Osteopathic Associations are eligible for licensure in Canada.
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