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Southern Cross University first regional training in osteopathy


Zoe Satherley
29 September 2009

Budding osteopaths wanting to train in the fastest growing allied health profession in Australia can now enrol at Southern Cross University’s Lismore campus.

The University has received conditional provisional accreditation by the NSW Osteopaths Registration Board and full university approval for its osteopathic program, which consists of two degrees – the Bachelor of Clinical Sciences (Osteopathy) and the Master of Osteopathic Medicine.

This makes Southern Cross University the first regional trainer in osteopathy in Australia and the only provider outside of Melbourne. Enrolments for 2010 are now open.

The five-year program in osteopathic medicine is designed to produce primary care health practitioners who have the ability to solve complex problems, and work within a contemporary professional model that integrates the principles of evidence-based practice with a holistic paradigm of patient-centred health care.

The University has a state-of-the-art anatomy cadaver laboratory, extensive clinical training (including hospital placements) and purpose-built university clinics, as well as both rural and city external clinical placements.

The study environment is student-centred within the interdisciplinary School of Health and Human Sciences, which includes exercise physiology, naturopathy, psychology, nursing and midwifery as well as occupational therapy.

Paul Orrock, osteopath, senior lecturer and head of Southern Cross University’s osteopathic program, said there was a major lack of osteopaths outside of Melbourne and Sydney, so career prospects for graduates were excellent.

“Osteopathy has gained tremendous popularity as a health practice because it treats the body in a holistic way and looks at the underlying structural imbalances which can lead to pain and discomfort as well as limit healing from disease,” Paul said.

“The number of osteopaths in Australia has almost doubled between 1996 and 2006, which makes it the fastest growing allied health profession and demand for service outstrips supply to a large extent.

“We welcome students who wish to learn from some of the best teachers in the field while living in the wonderful lifestyle area of the Northern Rivers.”

Photo: Paul Orrock teaching students studying osteopathy at Southern Cross University.