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3 Things I didn't know about being an osteopath

By Geetha Soosay | 29 July 2016

The recent launch of ORION made me realise what might be habitual daily practice to me, may not be the same as my fellow osteopaths.

Do treatments prescribed to patients vary city to city? Do practitioners generally have a treatment preference or does it depend entirely on the patient? What drives us to use certain techniques? And will we be using the same techniques in 50 years?

It’s exciting that ORION will be able to give us some of these answers. 

The questionnaire (If you haven’t done it yet, you absolutely should!), really made me think about a few things that I hadn’t expected prior to practising…

1)    How differently we all practice!

Yes, all osteopaths studied hard at university and we all answer to the same national registration standards. But that doesn’t stop endless discussions and healthy debates among colleagues and peers. Why? Because our practice has been shaped by our individual experiences, which has led to an array of perspectives and techniques.  I am excited to know what we all do and how we all work.

2)    How many decisions I have to make about business

Running my own practice? Being an associate? Renting a room? Where do I stand with my peers on this?

I have worked in my own practice - on my own without reception. I’ve run my own practice within a GP practice. I’ve even rented a room within a multidisciplinary practice and I’ve also been an associate numerous times.

Sometimes things aren’t what I expected them to be. For example, many people assume running your business is fabulously liberating. But I learnt that the process can be quite lonely, especially when I started out and was building up patients. I enjoyed the GP practice but I especially love working with other osteopaths, sharing ideas and learning.

I am constantly assessing and reassessing opportunities and decisions that can ultimately affect business, my own career, patients and even my lifestyle.

3)    How much I would keep learning

I knew we had to do 25 hours of CPD but I never thought I would have so much choice and have such difficulty deciding what courses to do. I personally use lots of different techniques – structural and indirect - and I think both are effective.

 The fact that there’s so much information out there is a wonderful thing and it makes me wonder, what don’t I know?

I enjoy learning from my peers and finding out what treatment techniques are effective perhaps more than others. Continued learning from courses, webinars, articles and studies like ORION not only benefit me as an osteopath, but it will also enhance patient care.

I’m sure there will be many more lessons to come but for now, I look forward to the ORION results and learning about the perspectives, experiences and outcomes that will help strengthen our profession.

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