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Sheridan to offer Canada’s first osteopathy degree in the postsecondary system

Mar 8, 2023
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Sheridan has unveiled its new Honours Bachelor of Science – Osteopathy degree and is set to welcome the program’s first cohort of students in the Fall of 2023, marking the first time a public postsecondary institution in Canada has ever offered such a program. Learners graduating from this program will have completed the necessary competency-based education to practice as an osteopathic manual practitioner.

Students will study the principles and practices of osteopathy — a growing and in-demand profession that uses a manual therapy approach to patient care, treating a variety of injuries, illnesses and conditions. The scope of osteopathy is broad and involves an in-depth knowledge of anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, pathophysiology, general healthcare and social factors around human health and wellness.

Through an extensive experiential learning component, graduates of the program will earn more than 1,000 hours of supervised clinical experience, making it the only osteopathy degree in Canada that meets the World Health Organization’s Type 1 standard of 1,000 hours of supervised clinical practice.

“We are thrilled to shine a spotlight on this important profession and train the next generation of osteopathy manual practitioners,” says Dr. Maryam Niapour, Associate Dean of Sheridan’s Faculty of Applied Health and Community Studies (FAHCS). “The popularity of osteopathy is growing in Ontario and around the world, presenting numerous employment and career growth opportunities. This is the first time osteopathy will be offered as a degree by a public institution anywhere in the country, and our goal is to ensure the highest academic quality is maintained through evidence-based, research-embedded education.”

Building upon Sheridan’s reputation for providing high-calibre, hands-on applied health programming including degrees in athletic therapy and kinesiology, the Honours Bachelor of Science – Osteopathy degree program will equip students with the ability to assess and treat musculoskeletal dysfunctions associated with acute, chronic, or systemic conditions using a critically informed, holistic, and patient-centered approach to care.

“Students will work closely with their peers in small classroom environments studying a discipline-specific, curated curriculum with an extensive clinical and experiential learning component while learning from professors who are pioneers in the field of manual osteopathy,” says Dr. Michael O’Leary, Dean of the Faculty of Applied Health and Community Studies at Sheridan. “Students will receive a direct path into the growing field of osteopathy and begin working with patients in their first year of study.”

“It’s no secret that health care professionals across a variety of disciplines are vital to the overall health and long-term care of people in Ontario,” says Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “Congratulations to Sheridan College for launching this ground-breaking program, the first of its kind in Canada, which will give students the education and skills they need for rewarding careers in osteopathy and, in turn, to support the province’s health care workforce."

Prabmeet Sarkaria, MPP for Brampton South, adds: “By launching this new osteopathy program, Sheridan College is setting students up for success after graduation as they launch their health care careers. This will help support the growth of our health care workforce and economy not only right here in Brampton, but across the entire province.”

More about osteopathy

Osteopathic manual practitioners work to help manage a patient’s condition through a range of approaches including assessments, physical manipulation, clinical exercise prescription, and lifestyle advice. The practice of osteopathy is focused on using evidence-based practice to directly support processes associated with recovery including repair, adaptation and alleviation of symptoms. The practice is distinct from other health-care professions that use manual techniques such as physiotherapy or chiropractic, despite some overlap. Visit the website for the Osteopathic International Alliance to learn more.

Career opportunities for students

Graduates of Sheridan's Honours Bachelor of Science — Osteopathy degree will be highly skilled osteopathic manual practitioners prepared to help patients manage their health and well-being. Practitioners can choose from a variety of career paths, though many choose to work in private practice, in multidisciplinary clinics, or with sports teams. Upon graduation, students could be eligible for entry into graduate study programs at other institutions.

Visit the Honours Bachelor of Science – Osteopathy degree program page for more details and information on applying. 

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