Course Title: Osteopathy Principles and Clinical Practice 2

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Osteopathy Principles and Clinical Practice 2

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012

Course Coordinator: Anna Massingham

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7647

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 202.4.67

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Osteopathy Theory and Practice 3
Osteopathic Principles and Clinical Practice 1
Osteopathy Theory and Practice 4

Course Description

This course consists of modules that expand upon osteopathic philosophy, theory, practice and mechanics introduced in year one and introduces diagnostic modalities that prepare the students for their entrance into clinical practice in year three. Clinical assessment of the body is introduced and students begin their study of physical examination of systems of the body. Students spend time in the clinic as active observers. 

The course consists of the following modules:

  • Clinical Practice, Ethics and Law
  • Models Of Osteopathy 2
  • Neurological testing

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Level one capabilities

FC1: diagnose the patients clinical presentation

KC2: information, locating,critically evaluating, managing and using a range of information

PC1: adopt appropriate behaviours in dealing with patients’ concerns, including socially and ethnically sensitive communication skills and empathy

VC1: engage in ethical clinical practice

Clinical Practice, Ethics and Law

On completion of this module students will be expected to:

  • Understand the concept of medical ethics
  • understand the types of ethical decision making and how they may be utilised in making decisions in practice
  • understand the concept of duty of care
  • Understand the role of osteopaths when dealing with suspected child abuse
  • understand the importance of boundaries in clinical practice in particular in regard to sexual misconduct
  • Understand the importance of effective documentation in the clinical setting
  • understand the australian privacy principles and how they effect osteopathic practice
  • understand how the RMIT osteopathic teaching clinic complies with the privacy act
  • understand the concept of informed consent
  • understand the RMIT osteopathic teaching clinic informed consent document
  • Understand the situations where an Osteopath may have to provide ‘evidence’ in legal proceedings
  • understand the concept of medical malpractice
  • know how to minimise the possiblity of being charged with medical malpractice
  • understand the requirements of third party payers such as TAC and worksafe
  • Be able to manage clinical settings where their ethical stance is challenged

Neurological testing

On completion of this module students will be expected to:

  • Identify relevant areas in the case history that would lead one to suspect a neurological condition
  • Perform myotomal, dermotomal and reflex examinations for the upper limb, thorax and lower limb
  • Perform an examination of the cranial nerves ( including fundoscopy)
  • Perform a screening cranial nerve examination
  • Perform neurological examination of the spinal cord (lower motor neurons, posterior columns and lateral spinothalamic tract)
  • Perform a screening examination of the neurological system
  • Perform neurological examination of the cerebellum

Models of osteopathy 2

On completion of this module students are expected to have a greater understanding of osteopathic models of the impact of dysfunction on patient presentations

Overview of Learning Activities

The planned student learning experiences in this course, in addition to providing discipline specific knowledge, introduce the student to the clinical environment. In the osteopathy modules, the knowledge gained in the other courses becomes applied to the living human organism and studied in states of health and disease. Theoretical material covered is broad and students are expected to utilise the learning experiences and knowledge attained in other courses and read widely and in greater depth on the topics covered. Engagement with the vast body of knowledge in the clinical sciences and osteopathy develops the student’s abilities to locate, evaluate and manage a range of information.

Lecture / practical

supervised clinical observation


Overview of Learning Resources

Recommended texts: (These are useful texts which support and complement the core material).
Copies of recommended texts will be placed on reserve in the Bundoora campus library for the period during which they are likely to be in high demand.

Overview of Assessment

Attendance Requirements, Direct Observation of Procedural Skills, Objective Standardised Clinical Examinations, Assignments and Written exams that may be online