UK osteopaths are not medically trained and are not licensed to prescribe medication. You wouldn’t therefore expect an osteopath to advise patients on choice of medication. However, that’s exactly what they are being trained to do. On 17th March, the British School of Osteopathy are running a training course “Pain and Pharmacology”. Within the description of this course it states “This course will give delegates the opportunity to increase their knowledge and confidence of pharmacology and pain control medication. The course will discuss assessing and treating patients with poorly controlled pain, with advice and education on safe and effective pain control medication selection.”
It seems quite ridiculous (and potentially dangerous) for an osteopath to provide advice to patients on choosing medication as they are not qualified to do so. If an osteopath is asked about medication by one of their patients they should refer them to a suitably qualified MEDICAL professional – usually their GP.
Much like their recent interest in exercise, osteopaths yet again seem to be trying to offer services that are outside of their expertise. The core treatments provided by osteopaths are no longer considered to be first-line treatments for many of their patients. This recent move to try to widen their services appears to be a desperate attempt by a profession to justify its existence. Osteopaths should be sticking to their core treatments in which they have expertise. After all, what really matters is improving care for patients. An osteopath advising on choice of medication is completely inappropriate and can’t be in the patient’s best interest. If you need advice on choice of medication, are concerned about side effects or need other medical advice please see your GP. Do not place your health at risk by taking advice from an osteopath.