Osteopathic International Alliance

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Contact Info     142 E. Ontario St., Chicago, IL

Frequently Asked Questions   arrow

  1. What is the OIA and why was it created?
  2. What is the mission and vision of the OIA?
  3. What are the goals of the OIA?
  4. What is Osteopathy/Osteopathic Medicine?
  5. Does the OIA support both streams (osteopath and osteopathic physician) of the osteopathic profession?
  6. Who are the current member organisations of the OIA?
  7. Who can join the OIA?
  8. What are the different levels of membership within the OIA?
  9. How does an organisation become a member of the OIA?
  10. What does the OIA have to offer an organisation that is working to develop the osteopathic profession within their country?
  11. Why should I as an individual osteopath or osteopathic physician be concerned about being part of a global profession? What’s in it for me?
  12. As an individual, how can I get involved?
  13. What are the WHO Benchmarks for Training in Osteopathy?
  14. What are the OIA Global Osteopathic Reports?
  15. How would a person or organisation utilize the OIA Global Osteopathic Reports?
  16. Are there any documents that outline osteopathic competencies and capabilities?
  17. What are some current statutory systems governing the practice of the osteopathic profession?
  18. What kind of education do osteopaths/osteopathic physicians receive?
  19. What are some current osteopathic accreditation models?
  20. Are there any resources available that address safety in osteopathy/osteopathic medicine?
  21. Are there any resources available that define osteopathic terminology?
  22. Where can I find out more about the OIA and its members’ upcoming events?
  23. What are the past events that have involved the OIA?
  24. What is the relationship between the OIA and the WHO?
  25. Does the OIA provide info I can share with my patients to educate them about the profession?
  26. Who are the current Board of Directors and Staff?
  27. Can my organization or I use the OIA logo?
  28. How do I contact the OIA?

 

What is the OIA and why was it created?
The Osteopathic International Alliance (OIA) was formed in 2004 as an organisation of osteopathic organisations representing osteopathic physicians, physicians who embrace the osteopathic philosophy and practice, and osteopaths. The Alliance was created to bring together the global osteopathic profession for strategic goals benefiting professions and their patients.

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What is the mission and vision of the OIA?
Our mission is to encourage systems of education and regulation which will ensure high standards for safe and effective health care from osteopaths and osteopathic physicians. Our vision is to To ensure that every person worldwide has access to high-quality osteopathic healthcare. See more about our core values here.

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What are the goals of the OIA?

The OIA has just completed a strategic plan for 2017-2019, which includes a list of goals.

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What is Osteopathy/Osteopathic Medicine?

Osteopathy/Osteopathic Medicine is a patient centered holistic approach to health care that recognizes the importance of the relationship between the structure of the body and the way it functions. Osteopathic physicians and osteopaths use palpation and manual techniques to influence muscles, joints, nerves, connective tissue, circulation and internal organs to support the body’s ability of restoring and maintaining health.

Osteopathy/Osteopathic Medicine is complementary to general practice medicine in the context of integrated patient care which is focused upon both evidence-informed and patient centered approaches. Manual palpation and osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) are used in conjunction with biomechanical, orthopaedic and neurological clinical assessment. For more information, please download one of our brochures.

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Does the OIA support both streams (osteopath and osteopathic physician) of the osteopathic profession?

Yes.

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Who are the current member organisations of the OIA?

The OIA represents more than 75 organisations from over two dozen countries on five continents. For a full organisational listing, please see our Member Listing Page.

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Who can join the OIA?
The OIA is an Alliance of osteopathic organisations, rather than individual professionals. Associations and institutions around the world that educate, employ, assist, or organise osteopathic professionals are eligible for membership.

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What are the different levels of membership within the OIA?
The OIA includes the following categories of members: Full, Associate, and Partner. Those seeking membership must be recommended by the Board and ratified by the Full Members.

  1. Full Members
    Legally recognized organisations from a country where osteopathic physicians and/or osteopaths are regulated by law, who represent the majority of the professions of osteopathic physicians and/or osteopaths. Additionally OIA membership can be shared by a coalition of eligible organisations who formally agree to collaborate. The possibility of adding more members from the same country to the coalition will be reviewed at the previously scheduled time of review of the original member(s), unless the board specifies otherwise.
  2. Associate Members
    Established or emerging organizations from any country where osteopathic physicians and/or osteopaths are working towards governmental recognition and the legal establishment of the osteopathic profession and full membership in the OIA.
  3. Partner Members
    Partner Members are defined as organisations/institutions with goals and objectives that are consistent with those of the OIA, but who do not meet the criteria of Full or Associate Membership. For example, these may be educational institutions, local or regional membership organisations, regulatory agencies, or international organisations, etc.

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How does an organisation become a member of the OIA?

Please download the Membership Application (PDF) and return the completed form, with appropriate documentation and application fee to the OIA Secretariat via email (oia@osteopathic.org).

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What does the OIA have to offer an organisation that is working to develop the osteopathic profession within their country?

The OIA can provide information and documentation about models of osteopathic education, training, accreditation, regulation and safe practices. We have developed a brochure to assist with education about the osteopathic profession and the Global Osteopathic Reports provide details and examples of existing models of both streams of the profession and how they function within national health delivery systems across a range of countries.

You can also participate in our annual conferences where member organisations can meet each other face to face and exchange information about successes and missteps when working to further the profession in their country. Membership in the OIA can facilitate connections and exchanges between members seeking regulation with those who have already achieved it in order to shorten their process and avoid wasting time.

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Why should I as an individual osteopath or osteopathic physician be concerned about being part of a global profession? What is in it for me?

Each of us practices in a social and political context. Over the past years, the osteopathic profession has become further recognized and regulated in more countries. This leads to some greater visibility to the public and therefore greater referrals. The stronger the “brand recognition” of the osteopathic profession becomes worldwide, the better the recognition will become in individual countries and for individual practitioners.

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As an individual, how can I get involved?

The OIA is an organisation of organisations, so the best avenue for engagement is to work through one of our Full, Associate or Partner member organisations. Please refer to our membership list to find out if there is already a member from your country. If you are in a developing country, perhaps there is not one yet. The OIA is a working group, not a political status organisation. If you have an interest you can be involved through your member organisation and by attending annual conferences.

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What are the WHO Benchmarks for Training in Osteopathy?

The World Health Organization Benchmarks for Training in Osteopathy is a publication that serves as an important political step towards worldwide acceptance and integration of the osteopathic profession into national healthcare systems. The WHO Benchmarks meets the WHO’s vision of an integrated health care combining conventional medical care and traditional or complementary/alternative medicine, and is a precursor to the Global Osteopathic Reports (which was developed in collaboration by the OIA and WHO).

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What are the OIA Global Osteopathic Reports?

The Global Osteopathic Reports includes the Status Report on Osteopathy (PDF) is a 2012 document that presents the broad range of osteopathy and osteopathic medicine worldwide. The OIA developed this report with input from our member organisations and the World Health Organisation. It is intended to accompany the WHO Benchmarks and provide further details about the profession, covering the following topics:

  • Osteopathy/osteopathic medicine in its historical and current context
  • Osteopathic core competencies
  • Existing regulatory models
  • Educational standards worldwide

Another report, “Osteopathy and Osteopathic Medicine: A Global View of Practice, Patients, Education and the Contribution to Healthcare Delivery,” describes the current state of the osteopathic profession globally and how it functions within national health delivery systems across a range of countries. The report builds upon the Status Report on Osteopathy and is presented in four parts:

  • The history and spread of osteopathic healthcare
  • Practitioners and Patients
  • Models of education and training
  • The efficacy, safety and cost effectiveness of osteopathic healthcare

Download the Global Reports here.

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How would a person or organisation utilize the OIA Global Osteopathic Reports?

The document can be used to explain the profession to those unfamiliar with it, but also to assist with fostering recognition of the profession with health and governmental authorities. See more on the Global Reports page.

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Are there any documents that outline osteopathic competencies and capabilities?

While specific capabilities expected of an osteopath or osteopathic physician vary internationally, there are some universal characteristics. This information is available in the Status Report on Osteopathy and Annex 4.

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What are some current statutory systems governing the practice of the osteopathic profession?

Osteopathy and osteopathic medicine are currently regulated by law in a number of countries; while variations exist, all laws aim to protect the public by ensuring anyone using the term ‘osteopath’ is registered with the relevant authority.

Links to the relevant national legislation and regulatory authorities are located in the Status Report on Osteopathy and Annex 5.

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What kind of education do osteopaths/osteopathic physicians receive?

In all of the countries in which the osteopathic profession is regulated by law, it is a graduate profession. Some programmes of study are delivered by departments in state-funded universities or institutes of technology. Others are in smaller, specialist autonomous colleges, many of which existed for many years on a private, charitably funded basis before entering formal academic relationships with national organizations or local universities. Educational programmes follow a variety of configurations, and each national system has its own recognised qualification with ‘RQ’ status. Details and sample curricula are available in the Status Report on Osteopathy and Annex 6.

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What are some current osteopathic accreditation models?

A national system of accreditation of educational programmes exists in the majority of countries in which the practice of osteopathy is regulated by statute. The models in those countries reflect the prevailing legislative and educational environments. In general, accreditation of professional education programmes works alongside existing institutional and national quality assurance mechanisms; these systems provide for periodic inspection and accreditation of programmes against a published set of educational standards and graduate profiles that must be demonstrably attained and maintained. A system of annual reporting by accredited institutions is common.This information is available in the Status Report on Osteopathy and Annex 7.

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Are there any resources available that address safety in Osteopathy/Osteopathic Medicine?

There is substantial evidence that osteopathic manipulation is a safe, effective and conservative means of treatment. More information is available in the Status Report on Osteopathy and Annex 8.

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Are there any resources available that define osteopathic terminology?

The best resource for defining osteopathic terminology is the AACOM Glossary of Osteopathic Terminology. More information can be found within the Status Report on Osteopathy.

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Where can I find out more about the OIA and its members’ upcoming events?

Please visit our Member Events Page to find out, and see our Upcoming Conferences & AGMs page.

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What are the past events that have involved the OIA?

Please visit our Past Conferences & AGMs page to see agenda, presentations, and meeting notes from previous OIA conferences.

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What is the relationship between the OIA and the WHO?

The OIA began work with the World Health Organisation in 2004. The OIA worked with the WHO to develop the Guidelines on Basic Training in Osteopathy, which would eventually become the Benchmarks for Training in Osteopathy, and held an Osteopathic Consultation with experts from around the globe in 2007.

Following the publication of the Benchmarks in 2010, the OIA continued their working relationship with the WHO and held a consultation meeting following their 2012 Paris Conference. Following the publication of the Status Report on Osteopathy in March 2012 and the Paris Conference, the OIA published Osteopathy and Osteopathic Medicine: A Global View of Practice, Patients, Education and the Contribution to Healthcare Delivery, with input and a forward from the WHO.

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Does the OIA provide info I can share with my patients to educate them about the profession

Yes, a brochure has been created for this purpose and is available here in six languages.

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Who are the current Board of Directors and Staff?

The Board is made up of nine members who have been nominated to this position by member organisations. Information about the current Board can be found here.

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Can my organization or I use the OIA logo?

Use of the OIA logo is not permitted without the express, written permission of the OIA. Permission for the use of the OIA logo is at the absolute discretion of the OIA and will be given for a specific use only. The OIA logo may be used by its member organizations in communication materials (electronic or paper) to indicate that the organization is a member of OIA. The OIA logo should not be used in any way that suggests that the OIA endorses the policies, other work or services provided by a member organization. There is no entitlement for individuals associated with OIA members to use the OIA logo.

Organizations wishing to use the logo promote the OIA’s work are advised to inquire with the OIA about the use. For any requests, please contact us at oia@osteopathic.org. Include your name and contact information, plus a description of your proposed use of the logo (why you want to use the logo, where the logo would appear, the duration and geographical extent of the proposed use, how the OIA logo would be displayed relative to any other organization logo, and a mock-up or sample artwork of how you propose to use the OIA logo). If approval is granted, you will be sent formal written authorization with any conditions on use described.

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How do I contact the OIA?

Reach out to us at oia@osteopathic.org or +1.312.202.8149. Direct postal mail to OIA, 142 E. Ontario St, Tenth Floor, Chicago, IL USA 60611 USA.

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