Osteopathy/Education, Qualitative research, Training Programs, Education,Professional, Professional Identity
This qualitative thesis explores the education and training components in the professional
preparation of osteopaths in Ontario. It is formed around three research questions that examine
the phenomenological aspects of osteopathic professional education. These questions were
answered in the following manner.
Firstly, the literature of the professions and literature of professional education were
thoroughly studied to uncover useful definitions and 14 key traits of professional education,
which allowed this researcher to frame the questions and form a concise methodology for the study. Then, an in-depth review of early osteopathic literature provided historical evidence of the traits of professional education. Thirdly, key-informant interviews were performed with stakeholders in Ontario’s osteopathic scene. These interviews were coded and analyzed for consistent themes, ideas and explanations on the various traits associated with osteopathic education in Ontario. Finally, this distilled information was compared with triangulated data collected from historical osteopathic texts and other valid sources.
The data suggest that osteopathic education in Ontario does not instil all of the traits
associated with professional education in graduates, and the graduates fill in these conceptual gaps with traits collected from previously attended professional programs. By having to substitute previously learned traits into their osteopathic professional practice, the graduates may slow the professional formation process, decrease osteopathic professional identity and contribute to the process of deprofessionalization. This thesis serves as a building block for osteopathic professional education by identifying the conceptual gaps in osteopathic education and suggesting a course of action for continued research.