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The status of osteopathy around the world

In the UK osteopathy is a distinct profession. Since the Osteopathy Act was passed in 1993 the profession has been subject to statutory regulation and it is considered a criminal offence to use the title “Osteopath” if one has not received the proper training.  The General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) was set up to regulate the profession by ensuring the quality of training and by investigating cases of professional misconduct thus protecting the public and the profession.  There are approximately 7 institutions in the UK with approved training from the GOsC, offering academic qualifications (Bachelor of Science).  Some colleges offer an additional MSc.  

Australia and New Zealand
Osteopathy in Austalia and New Zealand has developed along similar lines to the UK. Osteopathy can be studied in these countries and to date there are between 2-3 colleges that offer an osteopathic medical course.

In America osteopaths are given the title DO (Doctor of Osteopathy).  This means they have trained in osteopathic medical schools and receive a training similar to regular physicians (MD) with additional courses in osteopathic treatment.  Unlike in the UK where osteopaths train for 4-5 years in osteopathy alone, American osteopaths receive a regular medical training and study osteopathic as an adjunct..  For this reason many American trained osteopaths may not practice osteopathy.

Osteopathy in the European Union
At present there is no standardised training of osteopathy in the European Union and as  a result courses differ from country to country.  Attempts are however being made to regulate osteopathy throughout the EU. 

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