As an Osteopathic student, I think it is safe to say that Osteopathy has had a major impact on my life. I had been working in an inter-disciplinary clinic for almost three years before I started class at the Canadian Academy Of Osteopathy. Before Osteopathy I was a Kinesiologist without a path, without desire, without meaning in my work. Due to some very personal motivation I found the CAO in a way that could best be described as serendipitous. I was looking for a way to improve my skills as a health care provider and I found a program, a profession, and a philosophy that has already changed my life (I have barely even started this journey but the differences are massive).
On the first day of class, Rob Johnston (the principal with principles) said that none of us knew why were there but that the program would change our lives. At various points through my first year Mr. Johnston brought upperclassmen to the front of the class to share their thoughts and feelings on what the program had done for them. To a person they all said that the program had transformed their lives. These people come from all walks of life and some of them are on their third “career”.
Now I am usually one to not feel the effects of things that other people claim are life changers but this program has handed me some deeply transforming experiences. Almost every assignment I was required to write ended up being longer and more thought provoking as I wrote them than anything I did in university. I was tasked with doing a pretty demanding online anatomy course while balancing a full time job. I have a much more “real” understanding of anatomy due to the Osteopathic lens that I have been provided. Due to the Osteopathic lens and my previous disposition to disagree with many common healthcare methods employed in interdisciplinary clinics I ended up having to find a new job due to my growing distaste for that environment on a personal level. I am now slowly building up a private practice and getting results that I am still amazed by. I have had the honor of treating some interesting cases and providing good results for my patients. I have had frustrations already but I will keep improving my skill set and helping people to the best of my ever-growing abilities.
I also want to comment on the changes I have witnessed in some of my classmates. There are two students that have opened their very own clinic in a medical building after first year (I think that is awesome). There are multiple students who were gifted and confident enough to start providing Osteopathic treatment in their RMT practices before they were even done first year (again, an amazing thing to me). There were many students that produced such deeply insightful points in their assignments that absolutely astounded me as to how brilliant they were. I was honored to witness the ever improving public speaking skills of another classmate that had trouble even looking at the class for their first presentation. I am being vague as I didn’t ask anyone for permission to share their stories but they know who they are and they should also know that I am both impressed and proud of all of my classmates.
The CAO has given me a new lease on life. Osteopathy is on my mind all the time and I have never had any subject hold my interest for this long. Osteopathy has ignited my passion and drive and for that I am deeply thankful to Dr. A.T. Still and Mr. Robert Johnston as well as the rest of the faculty at the CAO (directly) for providing me with the legacy and tools to help me in my journey towards being an effective Osteopathic Manual Practitioner.