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Osteopathy as a career

Osteopathy is a challenging but rewarding career. For most osteopaths no two days are the same. Patients come from all walks of life with unique sets of circumstances, and for the osteopath the reward comes from understanding the individual and helping to make a difference to their quality of life.

Many osteopaths work in general practice, seeing a wide variety of patients from office workers to fitness enthusiasts, and expectant mothers to the elderly, but others choose to specialise in particular fields, working with children and babies or offering dedicated care to professional sportspeople for example.

osteopaths in conversation

Osteopathy is also a flexible career option. Many osteopaths choose to be self-employed and set up their own practice, allowing them to shape their career around their own commitments and interests. Others are employed within larger practices or the NHS, often working within multi-disciplinary teams. And for graduates who qualify in the UK there are lots of opportunites to practice abroad, with BSO graduates currently working in Europe, Australia and Brazil to name a few examples.

Earning potential for osteopaths varies depending on a number of factors, including experience, location, client gropus and areas of specialism. New graduates may take a little while to build up a patient list, but can quickly become well established and go on to employ others.

How do I become an osteopath?

To practice in the UK all osteopaths need to have gained a recognised qualification and register with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). The BSO's Master of Osteopathy (M.Ost) degree has Recognised Qualification status, meaning graduates who successfully complete the course are able to apply for the GOsC register.

Once qualified and registered, practicing ostepaths are also required to regularly update their knowledge and skills with continuing professional development training to remain on the register.

Graduate case study

Charlotte Mead

BSO graduate Charlotte Mead tells us a little about her experiences at the BSO and as a practicing osteopath...

What aspects of the course did you find challenging/rewarding?
The best thing about the course is once you get into Clinic - nothing better than a patient telling you they are better because of your treatment and advice. The most challenging thing is applying all your new knowledge into practical clinical skills at the end of second year, and holding your nerve in the practical exams.

What areas of the course did you find the most interesting?
The most interesting areas of the course are the specialist clinics - particularly Royal Free Hospital and First Place. It's so cool to have a hand in a patient's healthcare within a hospital setting, and an awesome learning experience to get hands on with the babies treated at First Place.

Why did you choose the BSO to study osteopathy?
The BSO has the best reputation, and gives a solid grounding in the science behind osteopathy. It offers the best and most varied clinic experiences and Borough is a great place to be at uni - lots of cool things to do.

What sort of practice do you work now you're registered?
I currently work at 2 clinics in Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire - both are multi-disciplinary practices encompassing Osteopathy, Podiatry, Nutrition, Alexander Technique, and Counselling. I found these jobs whilst I was still in 4th year and was able to start working as soon as I received my exam results and registered with the GOsC. All the osteopaths I work with were BSO trained.

What advice would you give to prospective students applying to the BSO?
You need to be sure you want to do this, as it is a hard degree, and requires a lot of effort. Due to the nature of the course your course-mates become like your family, I have made some amazing friends; the last 4 years have been the best and most challenging years of my life.