29 February 2024

A First in Quebec: 2 New Graduate Programs in Osteopathy

The Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) will offer two new graduate programs in osteopathy starting in the fall of 2024. This makes the institution the first university in Quebec to offer training in this field, joining several universities around the world (including in the United Kingdom, Australia, Switzerland, Belgium, and the United States). In Canada, Sheridan College in Ontario has been offering the only bachelor's degree in osteopathy since the fall of 2023.


These new programs, aimed at practising osteopaths, aim to standardize osteopathic knowledge, skills, and practices. According to François Lalonde, Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Activity Sciences, who developed these new programs with his colleague Alain Steve Comtois, the content taught in private osteopathy schools is very heterogeneous. By offering evidence-based training, they believe they can better protect the public while meeting the ongoing training needs of osteopaths.


The graduate microprogram in clinical safety in osteopathy aims to develop the necessary skills to work in a complex interdisciplinary clinical environment. The program's courses cover complex clinical cases, pathophysiologies, functional evaluation, counselling, and intervention vulnerability factors.


As for the graduate microprogram in osteopathy enhancement, it aims to update knowledge through continuing education and improve clinical, practical, and communication skills tailored to patients' conditions. Courses cover osteopathic models, therapeutic exercises, sports osteopathy, aging, and pain mechanisms.


Furthermore, the practice of osteopathy, a manual approach aimed at restoring the functionality of the structures and systems of the human body to optimize its self-regulation capacity, is experiencing significant growth. In Quebec, over 2 million osteopathic procedures are performed each year by approximately 3,100 osteopaths. Nearly one third of the adult population has already received osteopathic treatment, mainly for musculoskeletal disorders or pain.


Although the practice of osteopathy is not yet legally regulated in Quebec, this situation could change soon. The Quebec Professional Board (OPQ) issued a favourable opinion on the creation of a professional order in osteopathy in 2022. The implementation of university programs should contribute to the creation of this order, notes François Lalonde.


In conclusion, these new interdisciplinary osteopathy training programs represent a major advancement in UQAM's projects to develop its offering in health sciences education and promote interdepartmental collaboration. They align with a holistic vision of health, promoting healthy lifestyles. Ultimately, UQAM plans to develop bachelor's and master's programs in osteopathy.


Both microprograms, limited to 24 students, are offered part-time, with one course per quarter over 5 quarters (2 years). Admission applications for fall 2024 are accepted until April 1.


Source: Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

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