What is the difference between a Osteopathic Practitioners & Osteopathic Physicians?
First off, let's begin with the similarities. The training of osteopaths (called Osteopathic Practitioners within BC) and osteopathic physicians have the same origin - in the work of Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, MD. From early in the 20th century, however, these two fields were evolving differently.
As the name indicates, osteopathic physicians are medical doctors. As such, they are trained to prescribe drugs, perform surgery, deliver babies, and to have the prerequisites to specialize in other branches of medicine. Osteopathic physicians are almost exclusively trained in the USA.
Osteopaths (or Osteopathic Practitioners within BC) are not MDs, they are not trained in allopathic medicine but purely osteopathic manual treatment. Osteopaths are trained in many countries, all over the world.
Worldwide osteopaths (or Osteopathic Practitioners within BC) have a very comprehensive practical training in what has come to be known as Osteopathic Manual Therapy. It is this manual practice or manipulation which was most distinctive about the founder of osteopathy, (Dr. Still) methods, and it is the wide range of manual practice approaches that evolved from Still's principles which forms the core of Osteopathy.
Both streams of osteopathy are recognized by the osteopathic international alliance (OIA) which represents 75,000 osteopathic practitioners and osteopathic physicians from more than 20 different countries worldwide.
Members of OsteopathyBC use the title ‘Osteopathic Practitioner” in British Columbia to make it very clear that we are not physicians and to conform with the law.