British Columbia Osteopathic Association










What is Osteopathic Medicine?

Osteopathic medicine is a distinctive form of medical practice in Canada and the United States. The practice of osteopathic medicine utilizes all available modern medical technologies to assess and treat injury and disease. It also offers the added benefit of hands-on diagnosis and treatment through a system of therapy known as osteopathic manipulative medicine. 

Osteopathic physicians understand how all the body’s systems are interconnected and how each one affects the others. When indicated, they focus special attention on the musculoskeletal system, which reflects and influences the condition of all other body systems.  D.O.s know that the body’s structure plays a critical role in its ability to function. They can use their eyes and hands to identify structural problems and to support the body’s natural tendency toward health and self-healing.


AACOM has launched “Osteopathic Medical Student Profiles: In their Own Words: A Snapshot of the Osteopathic Medical Student,” a student recruitment web page that features the experiences of students at each of the nation’s colleges of osteopathic medicine. With each student profile, included is a link to the student’s college of osteopathic medicine web site, so that prospective applicants can learn more about that medical college and its academic programs.  Visitors can also click on links to the Recruitment Calendar and to order/view the 2018 - 2019 College Information Book:

To view further information about Osteopathic Medicine from the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, see the following link:


What services does an Osteopathic Physician provide?

D.O.s are complete physicians, and through comprehensive residency training, may specialize in any field of medicine of their choosing. That means they are fully trained and licensed to order any required laboratory and imaging diagnostic procedures, prescribe medication, and perform surgery.  D.O.s and allopathic physicians (M.D.s) are the only two types of complete physicians in North America.  Osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) is incorporated in the training and practice of osteopathic physicians.  By combining all available medical procedures with OMT, D.O.s offer their patients the most comprehensive care available in medicine today.


Are osteopathic services covered by my BC provincial health insurance plan?

Yes.  Osteopathic physicians are fully licensed medical practitioners, and all medical services provided, including lab tests and imaging studies, are covered by your provincial health care plan.


I am interested in pursuing a career in osteopathic medicine.  How do I apply?

Contact the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine at   

The 2018 - 2019 Osteopathic Medical College Information Book (CIB) now available.  The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine 'College Information Book' (CIB) is the official publication for prospective applicants, students, pre-health advisors and others interested in gaining information about or applying to US osteopathic medical colleges. This year's CIB, for students applying for the fall of 2018, has been expanded to cover a variety of new topics, and includes updated admission requirements, tuition, fees, deposits, important deadlines and special programs at each of the osteopathic medical colleges. To order or download the 2018 College Information Book, follow this link:


NOTE :  If you are a Canadian interested in applying to AACOM schools, the AACOM has confirmed that the following colleges of osteopathic medicine may accept applications from Canadians that do not hold U.S. Permanent Resident Status (contact your school of interest directly to confirm eligibility): ATSU-KCOM, AZCOM, CCOM, DMUCOM, KCUMB-COM, LECOM-Erie, LECOM- Bradenton , LMU-DCOM, MSUCOM, NSU-COM, PCOM and GA-PCOM, PCSOM, TouroCOM-NY, UNECOM, UNTHSC-TCOM, VCOM, WVSOM, and WUHS/COMP (For more detail, please see 'Documents' page for link to document 'American Colleges Accepting Canadian Applicants')


Are there COA/AOA accredited colleges of osteopathic medicine in BC or other parts of Canada?

No.  Currently, the only accredited colleges of osteopathic medicine graduating qualified osteopathic graduates are found in the USA.  There are 33 accredited osteopathic medical schools with 48 campuses in the United States.


I hold an osteopathic diploma or certificate granted from a school outside of United States.  Can I register to practice osteopathy in British Columbia?

No.  Only those graduates from COA/AOA accredited colleges of osteopathic medicine in the United States have the osteopathic qualifications and meet the requirements for eligibility to register with the provincial College of Physicians and Surgeons for osteopathic practice in BC.  Other practitioners using osteopathic titles are not eligible for membership in the BCOA, nor are they eligible for registration to practice in BC or Canada.  PLEASE ALSO NOTE THAT THERE ARE NO GOVERNMENT RECOGNIZED OR ACCREDITED OSTEOPATHIC PROGRAMS WITHIN CANADA.

Registration to practice as an osteopathic graduate in BC and Canada requires an osteopathic degree from a US college of osteopathic medicine accredited by the American Osteopathic Association, completion of Canadian or ACGME residency training, completion of specialty certification examinations, and completion of required medical licensure examinations (ie: MCC, USLME, or COMLEX examinations).  Currently, there are no Canadian or other international schools of osteopathy that meet these standards for registration with a Canadian government recognized authority.  Please note that there are also very specific title protection regulations in Canada prohibiting the use of osteopathic titles by unregulated practitioners.  Please see the following links to BC regulations:


I am aware of a non-physician 'osteopathic practitioner' practicing without college of physician registration.  What should I do?

Please advise the BC Minister of Health and the Registrar of College of Physicians and Surgeons.




March 17, 2019

    British Columbia Osteopathic Association ©2009-2019