Trained overseas? There are opportunities to practice in Australia
Working as an Osteopath
The osteopathy profession is established in over 50 countries and makes a significant contribution to healthcare across the globe, as outlined in a report released by the Osteopathic International Alliance (OIA). Osteopathy has two distinct streams across the profession: manual therapy-focused osteopaths; and in the US (and elsewhere), a more medical model with osteopathic physicians who sit the same credentialing as medical doctors and work across all medical specialties.
Osteopathy has existed in Australia for over 100 years and has been at the forefront of development with university education, being one of the first countries to regulate osteopathy.
In 2016-18, over 75,000 Australians visited an osteopath each week and spent $380 million on osteopathic care over the year. The osteopathic profession is the fastest growing allied health profession in Australia, with the number of osteopaths almost doubling every decade for the last several decades.
As a working osteopath in Australia, you must be government registered, meet high professional standards and complete annual continuing professional education to practice. The vast majority of osteopaths work in private, primary practice, meaning consumers can book appointments directly and can see an osteopath without a medical referral. This requires osteopaths to have the knowledge, diagnostic and assessment skills to ensure they can refer patients for any condition outside their scope of practice.
Osteopaths work in every State and Territory across Australia, with an average work week around 35 hours for an average salary of $85-90,000. Osteopathy can be a satisfying and fulfilling career which is adaptable to both part-time and full-time work.
Transition to Practice
The move from studying to working as an osteopath is a challenging time. Transition to Practice workshops is run by Osteopathy Australia to give you as a pending graduate, a snapshot of information from key stakeholders that will impact your professional life.
A broad range of topics is covered during these workshops including the lessons learned from experienced practitioners, the diverse models of practice, accounting, taxation, and financial management, life as a practitioner, what regulation means and how to handle employment issues. The program features speakers from industry leaders such as the Osteopathy Board of Australia (OBA) and Guild Insurance, as well as advice on the reality of practice from experienced colleges, recent peers and Osteopathy Australia.