Course Title: Osteopathic Clinical Practice and Research 1

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Osteopathic Clinical Practice and Research 1

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013

Course Coordinator: Dr Sharyn Burke

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 6647

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 201.5.15

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Bachelor of Applied Science (Osteopathy) or equivalent

Course Description

Osteopathic Clinical Practice and Research is the integrative focus of the students learning experience at this stage of the program. While it has been divided into semesters, the courses are continued all year and student progression is determined by year long performance. The clinical practice component requires 38 weeks clinical attendance per year at 19 weeks per half year.

This course consist of • Osteopathic Clinical Practice

Osteopathic Clinical Practice
Osteopathic Clinical Practice modules are a major component of the program. It is in these modules where students integrate all capabilities covered at this stage of this program and the pre-requisite undergraduate program.
Students in this module take full responsibility for the diagnosis, treatment and management of patients in the student teaching clinic. . Students use their clinic time to put into practice the knowledge and skills that they have acquired in their academic subjects.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Capability Level 3: This level requires the application and integration of previous levels with the concurrent courseware into expanded clinical problems. The clinical scope is expanded to include medical diagnosis and approaches to systemic diseases.

Functional Capabilities
FC1 - Diagnose the patient’s clinical presentation
FC2 - Perform osteopathic manipulative therapeutic procedures effectively, where appropriate
FC3 - Apply management strategies in order to produce positive outcomes for patients

Knowledge / Cognitive Capabilities
KC1 - Have a basis for understanding the scientific literature in manual medicine and related fields and the ability to put this understanding into effective use
KC2 - Information, locating, critically evaluating, managing and using a range of information
KC3 - Knowledge of when to refer the patient for other medical intervention

Personal / Behavioural Capabilities
PC1 - Adopt appropriate behaviours in dealing with patients’ concerns, including socially and ethnically sensitive communication skills and empathy
PC2 - Engage personally with a body of knowledge by ongoing learning, reflection and analysis and to implement best practice evidence-base practice where the evidence exists
PC3 - Working independently or as part of the team in a multi-disciplinary setting

Values / Ethical Capabilities
VC1 - Engage in ethical clinical practice
VC2 - Make sound judgements, evidenced-based where possible in order to show duty of care to patients

At the conclusion of this course students should be expected to:

  • Be able to integrate medical neuro-musculo-skeletal diagnosis with osteopathic diagnosis and technique, in order to achieve a positive outcome for a suitable real-world patient in a supervised clinical environment, consistent with osteopathic principles and practice
  • Develop an integrative approach to treatment with the incorporation of postural rehabilitation and exercise therapies.
  • Expand the scope of practice to include systemic dysfunction.
  • Be able to articulate the history of research in osteopathy and issues specific to osteopathic clinical research

Overview of Learning Activities

Supervised Clinic:

Students are responsible for patient care in the university teaching clinic. Students must discuss their new patient presentations with the clinician on duty, and together determine the appropriate course of action for management of the patient. Students must formulate a treatment plan, which includes a time for review of the case. Students should identify issues concerning the patient presentation that they do not understand, and discuss these issues with the clinician on duty, academic staff and other students

Overview of Learning Resources

copies of recommended texts will be available in the library

Overview of Assessment

Students are required to attend their rostered clinic shifts and complete the observations worksheets, assignments and treatment quotas to receive a pass in the course.
Particular attention is given to reports made regarding the students by the clinical supervisor. This assessment is a significant component of this course. Students should be aware that they are being assessed on their professional conduct, which includes their punctuality for rostered shifts and their professional appearance and behaviour. Students may receive demerit points for unprofessional conduct.
In addition students are encouraged to undertake RMIT University approved activities will such as external / community (treating) events; external private practice observation; participation in extra curricular clinical, promotional and professional activities such as community events, RMIT SOMA & AOA related activities. Participation in these events may assist a student in receiving a higher grade.

Ongoing assessments may occur at any time at the discretion of the clinical supervisor. It is the treating
student’s responsibility to ensure that these assessments are completed during semester.
a. Mini Clinical Examinations
b. Direct Observations of Procedural Skills
c. Professional Conduct
d. Record Review of case notes
e. Referral Letters


Mini Clinical Examinations
Direct Observations of Procedural Skills
Record Review of case notes

Students are required to bring:
• Clinic jackets and name badges
• Diagnostic equipment
• A model (students will be informed if a model is required).
• Some students may be required to remain after their examination to model for the next student.
Clinic Portfolio
Students must maintain a portfolio of all their clinical activities for the year. This must include their student manual, a copy of their current first aid certificate, copies of on-going assessment forms, referral letters, case studies and completed clinic statistics forms.

The Discipline of Osteopathy has special requirements regarding assessment.
Attendance Requirements:
In order to prevent potential injury to participants in practical examinations students must attend 90% of all osteopathic technique practical classes. Students who attend less than 90% of classes will be required to do make up work as directed by the supervising lecturer. Students who attend less than 70% of classes may not be eligible to sit practical examinations. Students who have an injury that prevents them from participating in practical classes, e.g. a broken arm, must attend classes and observe
Requirement to pass both practical and theory components:
In osteopathy courses with technique modules, students are examined for both their theoretical understanding and for their development of competence in osteopathic technique. Students must obtain a passing grade in all practical modules as well as the theoretical components of this course
Requirements regarding written assessment:
Students are requested to take particular note of the completion dates for assignments, as penalties for late submission will apply. Extensions may be available at the discretion of the lecturer concerned and dependent upon the circumstances of the request.
All assignments must be handed in with a completed “Cover Sheet for Submission of Individual or Group Assignments”
Special Requirements
Students are required to attend their rostered shifts and complete the clinic manual and assignments to receive a pass in the course. Particular attention is given to reports made regarding the students by the clinician. Ongoing assessment of students by supervising clinicians is a significant component of this course. Students should be aware that they are being assessed on their professional conduct, which includes their punctuality for rostered shifts and their professional appearance and behaviour. Demerit points will be given for infractions at the supervisors discretion. .

Grades of High Distinction -HD, Distinction -DI, Credit -CR, Pass -PA and Fail -NN will be awarded in
accordance with RMIT procedures.

Procedure for making variations to assessment tasks described

The assessment schedule below may be varied by the individual course modules guides made available to students by week 1 of semester. Any further variations will be negotiated with the enrolled students.The relative weighting of modules will remain unchanged.