Osteopath Certificate Program

Students may choose their prefered course from the following courses for their single or multiple courses certificate program study.

Human Anatomy

Consists of lectures covering the human body and incorporates adult human gross anatomical content. All content is presented using a case-based, integrated approach. Human Anatomy focuses on the structural and functional relationships within the back, head, neck, upper and lower limb regions. Anatomical content is closely integrated with that of other courses presented.


Teaches the physiology of body fluids, blood, and the cardiovascular, respiratory, endocrine, renal, and gastrointestinal systems. The function and control of all major organ systems are discussed, as are cell physiology and mechanisms at the cellular and subcellular levels. Muscle performance, training, and fitness assessments are also discussed. The course encourages problem-solving and the application of physiological principles to manual osteopathy practice.

Models of Health and Diseases

Studies six models of health and disease. These are: religious, biomedical, psychosomatic, humanistic, existential and transpersonal. Of these six models, only one was unequivocally reductionist: the biomedical. The others were all holistic. The religious, humanistic and trans-personal models could be considered as health models, the biomedical, psychosomatic and existential models as disease or illness models. The different models were assumed to depict differently, but related, ways of representing health and disease. It is probable that different groups in society, including the different groups in the health service–doctors, nurses and patients–look at health and illness from partly different models. This is considered to have significant implications for the health service.

Philosophy & History of Osteopathy

This course examines the history and philosophy of osteopathy as an introduction to osteopathic medicine. By exploring the paradigm that structure and function impact each other, this course ties anatomy and physiology together as the osteopathic approach is covered. The course examines the origins of osteopathy and discusses its evolution in the United States, Europe and Canada. The philosophy of A.T. Still’s four tenets and the holistic approach to healing is discussed.

Clinical Biomechanics

Introduces clinical biomechanical principles and properties of the spine. Students are introduced to the mechanical concepts of basic body mechanics, as well as some advanced topics involving moment calculation. Emphasis is placed on how these principles apply to manual osteopathic therapy. The biomechanics of osteopathy techniques are covered through examination of research publications. The biomechanics of the joints of the upper and lower limbs, lumbar, cervical and thoracic spine are examined to explain how pathologies develop. Due to the preponderance of low back pain, detailed attention is given to lumbar spine functional anatomy, lumbar spine pathomechanics, and the concept of lumbar spine stability. With these topics in mind, treatment and prevention strategies which are supported by laboratory research are examined.

Health Psychology

This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to theoretical and applied perspectives in Health Psychology. The primary topics in health psychology will be examined with attention to the particular views, values, and contributions of a biopsychosocial model of health. Topics to be introduced are lifestyle risk factors, health promotion, coping, the relationship between mental and emotional states and health status, and the rehabilitation and the psychosocial adjustment of people with serious health problems and complementary and alternative medicine. The Biopsychosocial approach within health psychology challenges the mind/body dualism inherent in conventional western medical practice and asserts that health and illness are determined by multiple factors including culture, environment, socio-economic status, biological factors (including genetics), and individual behaviour. Students will have an opportunity to look at the increasing burden of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and cancer, through a biopsychosocial lens.

Clinical Nutrition

The course discusses the basic principles of health, nutrition and wellness, involving the chemistry and metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. It also presents the basic food groups and the fundamentals of assessing nutritional status and introduces clinical examples and methods of practice implementation. Provide students with the required scientific basis in nutrition, in the context of a system and health approach.
Teaches the general principles of clinical diagnosis through a lecture and laboratory format. Students are taught basic skills in history-taking and physical examination procedures with an emphasis on interviewing skills and vital signs. This course emphasizes therapist-patient interactions, the importance of informed consent, and the use of standard diagnostic procedures.

This course enables students to develop systematic analytical and diagnostic skills. Students work through history, physical examination, special tests, and plan the management of several osteopathic cases under the guidance of a clinician.

Students also study the diagnosis of disorders of the various body systems at an advanced level. Emphasis is placed on etiology, pathology, signs and symptoms, differential diagnosis, and treatment. Areas of study include disorders of the cardiovascular, genitourinary, respiratory, gastrointestinal and endocrine systems, as well as dermatology, eyes, ears, nose and throat, hematology, allergic reactions, and immunology. Particular attention is focused on knowledge of those disease processes which confront the primary contact osteopathic manual practitioner.

Communication & Interviewing

Teaching students core interviewing skill in a safe, group-learning, experiential environment. Through cases students practice establishing rapport, collecting the history for each case, and attending to patient-centred concerns, such as family and genetic history, pain related history, trauma and injuries history, and diet and exercise history. Students learn to demonstrate respect for patients by introducing themselves and explaining their role in the interview, initiate the interview with an open-ended question and use focused questions to obtain specific information, value the patient’s narrative by giving the patient ample time to speak, respond directly and emphatically to patient concerns, check information with patient for correct understanding before ending the interview, and write a concise chart-style note that accurately portrays the standardized patient encounter.

Neuro-Anatomy & Neurology

Students learn the structure of the human brain and spinal cord, the gross anatomy of the central nervous system and the organization of the major neural systems underlying sensory, motor and cognitive function, and the functional organization of the central nervous system. The course will Study the symptoms and signs of a broad range of common neurological disorders with particular emphasis on those conditions which are frequently seen by osteopathic manual practitioners. Students attain the knowledge and skills required to conduct a neurological examination and to correlate clinical neurological findings with other diagnostic data.

Clinical Pathology

Presents the basic mechanisms involved in cell death, necrosis, inflammation and repair, and neoplasia. Pathological principles of disease processes are discussed so that students may understand the clinical manifestations of disease and the rationale for treatment.

Clinicopathological correlations will be emphasized where applicable. This course also provides students with an understanding of disease processes. Specifically, the etiology and pathogenesis of the major diseases affecting each individual body system are presented. Where applicable, areas of current research into the etiopathogenesis of disease are highlighted.

Orthopedic Diagnosis

Helps students understand the nature of normal musculoskeletal tissues and their response to injury. Students approach the musculoskeletal system regionally from the perspective of relevant clinical anatomy, pathology, biomechanics, diagnostic categories, current diagnostic tests and treatment strategies. The laboratory section of the course provides the student with skills in performing a focused orthopedic examination as the basis for an accurate diagnosis.


This course provides an in-depth study of human pathological processes and their effects on homeostasis. Emphasis is on interrelationships among organ systems in deviations from homeostasis. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate a detailed knowledge of pathophysiology. Course topics include the etiology, physical signs and symptoms, prognosis, and complications of commonly occurring diseases and their management.

Osteopathic Techniques

Provides laboratory instruction to develop proficiency in general and specific spinal and extremity manual techniques. Students learn how to deliver techniques with the focus on control, direction, speed and depth of pressure. Emphasis is placed on competence in conducting an analysis (including all forms of static and motion palpation procedures) of the spine, pelvis, and extremities to arrive at a clinical impression that will enable accurate determination of the appropriate manual procedure. Screening procedures and the importance of informed consent are discussed, and the student is taught soft tissue therapy, joint mobilization, myofascial release, facilitated positional release, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, neuromuscular retraining, lymphatic, osteoarticular and other manual techniques.

Soft Tissue Techniques

Study some of the manipulation procedures most commonly applied to the musculature surrounding the spine, which consists of a rhythmic stretching, deep pressure and traction. Its purpose is to move tissue fluids (edema) and to relax hypertonic muscles and myofascial (fibrous tissue) layers associated with somatic dysfunction.

Osteopathic Diagnosis

This course develops theoretical understanding and psychomotor skills in osteopathic diagnosis, including palpation and assessment technique, the orthopedic examination skills, treatment plan development, exercise and rehabilitation protocols used in patient management. This course also provides support for the student’s developing patient care responsibilities in the student teaching clinics. The capacity to integrate the materials presented in this course is examined in the clinical practice courses.

Safety and Professional Ethics

Introduces the historical and contemporary approach to health emphasizing aspects unique to the osteopathy profession. The material on professionalism, informed consent and ethics introduce students to a practical understanding of professional ethics and the terminology, issues, and consequences related to this area of student and professional life. The unique ethical responsibilities of the health professional student and practitioner are explored.

Therapeutic Exercise

In this course students learn how to prescribe certain joint specific therapeutic exercises accomplish the following goals: Enable ambulation, release contracted muscles, tendons, and fascia, mobilize joints, improve circulation, improve respiratory capacity, improve coordination, reduce rigidity, improve balance, promote relaxation, improve muscle strength and, if possible, achieve and maintain maximal voluntary contractile force (MVC), and improve exercise performance and functional capacity (endurance).

Emergency and First Care

This course introduces students to the basic functions of CPR by covering all major topics, such as chocking, airway and breathing emergencies, and prevention of disease transmission, and provides an overview of First Aid & CPR techniques This course is suitable for the first responder in the workplace. The course goes beyond the Standards to provide the most current, accurate reflection of EMS practice today. The text integrates scientific principles in an easy-to-understand way, with a host of critical-thinking features that help students learn to think like EMTs

Osteopathy Clinical Application

Begins with a comprehensive introduction to the structure and function of our clinical teaching environment, followed by instruction in the theory and application of evidence-based clinical practice. Students are exposed to the skills required to effectively retrieve, critically appraise, and apply current healthcare information and literature. Throughout the program, students review selected readings in clinical osteopathy theory. The course’s practical component integrates skills and knowledge learned including interviewing, informed consent, and clinical examination skills.

Professional Practice Management

Acquaints students with their rights and obligations together with, and more importantly, the rights and obligations of the patient. Emphasis is placed on risk management, informed consent, osteopathy legal issues, ethics and the law, the patient-therapist relationship, writing a medical-legal report, and practice management. This course familiarizes students with the relationship between manual osteopathy practice and the law.

Clinical Internship

As manual osteopathy interns, students assume patient care under the supervision of primary clinical faculty members within Loyola College’s teaching clinic, In addition to developing and maintaining a patient practice under the supervision of registered clinicians, the interns attend and participate in clinical rounds where special interest and topics and investigative research or issues are discussed. Clinical rounds provide opportunities for the intern to engage in enhanced critical thinking and application of the concepts of best practice. Complementary programs are offered, such as those associated with business skills.