Sunday, 30 September 2018

IMPORTANT: Working as an osteopathic manual practitioner in US

This is our official recommendation for our alumni at National University of Medical Sciences (USA), National Academy of Osteopathy (Canada) and National University of Medical Sciences (Spain) who wish to practice as an osteopathic manual practitioner in the United States of America. 

In our communication with the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) in 2016 we were requested by AOA to ensure our alumni refrain from misleading the public into thinking that they are osteopaths. We have implemented the recommendation of AOA and in our lectures have asked alumni to clearly distinguish themselves from osteopaths (osteopathic physicians) in US. 

We are grateful that none of our alumni has broken any laws in US in the past 8 years and we would like to keep it like this for many years to come. By publishing this post we want to ensure alumni of other schools also follow the AOA recommendations to ensure public is not misled into believing they are receiving osteopathy from an osteopath. 

You work in US as an osteopathic manual practitioner providing osteopathic manual practice. You do not practice osteopathy and you are not an osteopath in US, no matter what term you are allowed to use outside US.

Here are some of the most important points you must follow if you plan to practice in US:

-          You must obey all federal, state & municipal laws as they apply to you.

-          Each state has its own laws and regulation which may differ from other states.

-          Municipalities may have additional requirements that you must follow in addition to the requirements of the federal government and state health authorities. 

-          The profession of osteopathy (also known as osteopathic medicine) is regulated across US. You do not practice osteopathy there. Our profession is called Osteopathic Manual Practice.

-          You cannot call yourself an osteopath anywhere in US. 

-          You cannot use the title of DO anywhere in US. 

-          You cannot call yourself a doctor, or use the title “Dr” before your name.

-          You cannot offer medical diagnosis in any states.

-          You cannot perform HVLA techniques (manipulation) anywhere in US.

-          You cannot insert fingers inside vagina or anal cavity anywhere in US. 

-          You cannot read or take x-rays anywhere in US.

-          You cannot use electrotherapy and modalities in some states such as California. 

-          You must get each patient to sign a consent form. Its content may differ in each state. But all must mention that you do not offer medical treatments, that you are not a doctor, that you do not offer medical diagnosis, and that you offer alternative health care.

-          You have to correct people who call you doctor. If someone calls you a doctor you must inform that you are not a doctor.

-          If you have a non-health related doctoral degree, for example a PhD in physics, you still cannot call yourself a doctor.

-          Foreign graduated osteopathic manual practitioners from Quebec, Spain and UK that are awarded the title of “DO” cannot use this title in US. Our alumni from National University of Medical Sciences (Spain) who have a DO degree can either convert their DO degree to a PhD in Osteopathic Clinical Sciences – PhD(OCS) or join the American Association of Osteopathic Manual Practitioners ( to receive the title of COMP (Certified Osteopathic Manual Practitioner).

-          To receive the COMP title, osteopathic manual practitioners must first graduate from an osteopathic school accredited by the US Council on Osteopathic Manual Practice Education ( All our three schools are accredited by UCOMPE. They must then successfully complete the board exams of the American Osteopathic Manual Practice Examining Board ( After passing the board exams they can apply for membership to the Association.

-          Osteopathic manual practice is provided on cash basis in US. There is no insurance coverage.

-          You must have malpractice (errors and omission) insurance when you treat clients in US.
-          The people who use your services are called clients. You should not use the term patients unless you are authorized by law. 

-          You must understand that laws and regulations can change at any moment without prior notice to anyone. It is your responsibility to keep updated with current legislation as they affect you. 

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