Osteopathic practitioners share a set of core competencies that guide them in the diagnosis, management and treatment of their patients and form the foundation for the osteopathic approach to health care.

The following are essential competencies for osteopathic practice in all training programs:

  • understanding he basic sciences within the context of the philosophy of osteopathy, the role of vascular, neurological, lymphatic and bio-mechanical factors in the maintenance of normal and adaptive biochemical, cellular and gross anatomical functions in states of health and disease;
  • a strong foundation in osteopathic history, philosophy, and approach to health care;
  • ability to form an appropriate differential diagnosis and treatment plan;
  • an understanding of the mechanisms of action of manual therapeutic interventions and the biochemical, cellular and gross anatomical response to therapy;
  • ability to appraise medical and scientific literature critically and incorporate relevant information into clinical practice;
  • competency in the palpatory and clinical skills necessary to diagnose dysfunction in the aforementioned systems and tissues of the body, with an emphasis on osteopathic diagnosis;
  • competency in a broad range of skills of osteopathic manual therapy;
  • proficiency in physical examination and the interpretation of relevant tests and data, including diagnostic imaging and laboratory results;
  • an understanding of the bio-mechanics of the human body including, but not limited to, the articular, fascial, muscular and fluid systems of the extremities, spine, head, pelvis, abdomen and torso;
  • expertise in the diagnosis and osteopathic manual therapy of neuromusculoskeletal disorders;
  • thorough knowledge of the indications for, and contraindications to, osteopathic treatment;
  • a basic knowledge of commonly used traditional medicine and complementary/ alternative medicine techniques.
  • visceral techniques;
  • reflex-based techniques, such as Chapman’s reflexes, trigger points and neuromuscular techniques;
  • fluid-based techniques, such as lymphatic pump techniques