Origins of Osteopathy

The osteopathic profession was founded by Dr. Andrew Taylor Still in the United States in the late 1800s. Osteopathic medicine, or osteopathy, is a complete system of health care emphasizing a whole person approach to medicine. There are currently 33 colleges of osteopathic medicine in the United States with 48 campuses producing physicians with comprehensive medical and surgical training, and with special skills in musculoskeletal diagnosis and treatment, who make use of all modern diagnostic and treatment modalities, including unique manual treatment principles known as ‘osteopathic manipulative medicine’. 


It is the American Osteopathic Association's Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA)  that provides the advanced medical and surgical training required for licensure in Canada.  These US colleges are also responsible for the development of the advanced osteopathic manual treatment techniques used by specialists in osteopathic manipulative medicine worldwide.  The American Osteopathic Association and American Academy of Osteopathy continue to be the international leaders in advanced manual therapy techniques. 


Please note that since its inception, osteopathic education has always included comprehensive medical and surgical training. It is this traditional model of osteopathy that continues to be taught at US colleges of osteopathic medicine and is recognized for licensure in Canada, the United States, and over 45 countries worldwide for full osteopathic medical practice.

   The BCOA represents only qualified and licensed practitioners

Please be advised that currently there are various non-physician practitioners using osteopathic titles, practicing outside of legislation in British Columbia, and without osteopathic licensure, who do not hold the comprehensive medical, surgical, and musculoskeletal training required for osteopathic registration with provincial health care regulatory authorities.  

Welcome to the official website of the British Columbia Osteopathic Association


The BCOA is an affiliate organization of the Canadian Osteopathic Association and represents graduates from American colleges of osteopathic medicine licensed to practice osteopathic medicine (General Practice, Medical & Surgical Specialties, and Musculoskeletal Medicine) by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia.  The BCOA was established in the 1920s and continues to represent the osteopathic medical profession in all provincial matters regarding legislation and licensure.

This website is intended to provide information to those physicians and students who are specifically interested in the practice of osteopathic medicine in British Columbia.  For detailed information regarding the practice of osteopathic medicine in other Canadian or American jurisdictions, please visit the websites for the Canadian Osteopathic Association or the American Osteopathic Association.

This website will also provide the general public with accurate information regarding osteopathic medical education and the practice of osteopathic medicine in BC. 


Contact Us

 BCOA Office Email:


Mailing Address: 

McKenzie Professional Centre

209 - 1595 McKenzie Ave

Victoria, BC  Canada  V8N1A4

Proud Member of 

British Columbia Osteopathic Association Copyright © 2009-2019