Osteopaths are proficiently educated with the skills necessary to identify whether treatment is suitable for you or whether referral to another health professional is required.
Under the National Law, an appropriately qualified practitioner can use the title ‘Dr’. However, the practitioner must make clear to the public what is their area of expertise and qualification.
‘Dr’ is a courtesy title and its appropriate use is explained in the guidelines adopted by all National Boards on the Advertising of regulated Health Services published at www.osteopathyboard.gov.au
These guidelines require practitioners (who are not registered medical practitioners) who choose to adopt the title ‘Dr’ in their advertising,whether or not they hold a Doctorate degree or PhD, to make it clear that they do not hold registration as a medical practitioner. In advertising they should include a reference to their health profession whenever the title is used, eg Dr Chris Reeves (Osteopath).
The following is an excerpt taken from the Osteopathy Board of Australia’s website and it pertains to its position statement on paediatric care. (Updated 27th March 2017).
“The Code of conduct for osteopaths states that ‘Good practice’ involves:
The Board considers a registered osteopath’s ‘scope of practice’ as: ‘the professional role and services that an individual health practitioner is educated and competent to perform’. This means that registered osteopaths can work in areas of practice in which they have education, training, experience and competence. If registered osteopaths wish to change or develop their scope of practice, they must undertake further education and training to ensure they have the necessary competence.
The Board does not recommend individual post-graduate or continuing education courses to osteopaths, it is up to each practitioner to assess where they need to update their education and learning and complete this prior to changing or extending their scope of practice. The Board expects that any post-graduate or continuing education courses will be evidence-informed and that osteopaths maintain their knowledge through continuing professional development.
Osteopaths should not claim to or provide care for babies and children unless they have the appropriate education, training and competence to do so. When practitioners do not have the clinical skills and knowledge to appropriately assess and manage a particular paediatric patient, the Board expects them to refer the patient to another healthcare practitioner who has the appropriate skills, or to co-manage the patient with them. This should happen immediately when there are serious conditions that require urgent referral.
Osteopaths with appropriate training and experience to practice in the area of paediatrics cannot use the term ‘specialist’ in relation to their practice or give the impression or advertise that they specialise or are a specialist in paediatrics and treating neonates, infants and young children.”
As the director of Parkdale Osteopathic Clinic, I would like to make it very clear that ALL Osteopaths working within the clinic do their very best to provide and promote ‘Good Practice’ (as above) and to adhere to the following principles:
As a patient (or parent/guardian of a patient), should you have any concerns about your level of care or your experience at Parkdale Osteopathic Clinic, please do not hesitate to address this with your osteopath, or with myself (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Dr Chris Reeves (Osteopath)
Director – Parkdale Osteopathic Clinic
If you have an EPC referral from your GP, please read the following payment policy:
OA osteopaths must be government registered, meet high professional standards and complete annual continuing professional education to practice.