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The Canadian Academy of Osteopathy

Students of the CAO along with Principal Robert Johnston and faculty gather for a group photo in a CAO laboratory classroom
Take the first step toward a rewarding career in osteopathy with the CAO

Delivering Comprehensive Osteopathy Education For 15 Years

The Canadian Academy of Osteopathy was founded in Hamilton, Ontario in 2003 by Robert Johnston, principal of the school, and his business partners. Over the past fifteen years, the CAO has grown to include two campuses in Hamilton, Ontario, helping to train over 500 classically trained Osteopathic Manual Practitioners each year.

Osteopathy Skills for Success

At the CAO, students are set up for success with experienced osteopathic instructors, clinical classrooms, student kitchen & lounge areas, a private library (full of rare documents & historical resources), bookstore, and more. At the CAO’s student clinic facility on Melvin Avenue, we continue to offer free clinical treatments to the public, and our students and faculty have provided over 30,000 free treatments to the Hamilton community since opening.  

Features of the Canadian Academy of Osteopathy include:

  • A state of the art student clinic facility and classroom training campus
  • Recognized partnerships with renowned Osteopathy organizations
  • Professional and expert instructors, faculty, and staff members
  • A curriculum that aims to meet or exceed international standards of osteopathic education
  • Private collection of osteopathy resources, including original documents from the 1800s
  • Annual events bringing together international osteopathic practitioners, including CAO graduates

A Rewarding Future Career

Graduates of the Canadian Academy of osteopathy are provided their Master in Practice Diploma of Manipulative Osteopathic Sciences (M.OMSc) and are eligible to join the Ontario Osteopathic Association (OOA). This is because the CAO is an OOA approved education provider, meaning we have undergone extensive and comprehensive audits to ensure the CAO is using best practices in its’ curriculum. This includes supervised clinical training and a comprehensive osteopathic curriculum.

Our principal, Robert Johnston, lectures across the globe on classical, principles-based osteopathy, and has published several books on the subject. Mr. Johnston, along with other fellow CAO faculty members take part in a yearly trip to the Japanese Institute of Classico Osteopathy, to share their knowledge of the subject and learn from other international osteopathic practitioners. This knowledge is shared with our students, with members of JICO traveling to the CAO to present their knowledge as well.

The CAO has always aimed to facilitate the development of world-class Osteopathic Manual Practitioners by teaching the principles that underlie osteopathy–not just the techniques themselves. Through the process of teaching principles and critical thinking skills, students are better equipped for all types of complex situations that may end up in their practice.

Strengthening the CAO Community

We are so proud that the CAO has its own Student Canadian Academy of Osteopathy Student Council logoCouncil representing the student body at the school. Each individual class at the CAO has a student representative (or two) who sit on the Council and help make decisions that will strengthen the student community and, as a result, the school environment as a whole. Through events such as monthly bowling nights, pub crawls, pot-luck lunches, and pancake breakfasts, students are encouraged to foster greater connections in the school, a support system we hope will continue into their professional career.

Along with student community relations, the Student Council is dedicated to community action with annual food drives for the Hamilton Food Bank, holiday toy drives, and fundraising for a variety of charities. You can keep up with our busy Student Council body via our Facebook Page!

Students are encouraged to participate in Student Council activities, allowing them the opportunity to create meaningful connections with other students, partake in charitable community activities, and foster conversations on how to improve the high-level student experience and learning environment at the CAO.

Hear from our Student Council Body about their personal experience in the Student Council:

Lee Jarvis, CAO GraduateLee Jarvis, Past CAO Student Council President
“The student council is made up of a very wonderful group of students who value not only the exceptional education but also the community of the CAO. As the first president of the Student Council I had the honour of working with these students and helped to form the goals, activities, and events that the Student Council now works towards. Today the Student Council has it’s place as a necessary element in the educational environment as it enriches the student experience at the CAO increasing the fellowship of the students in their current schooling and in future relationships in the field.”


Abby Tyrell, CAO graduateAbbey Tyrrell, Past CAO Student Council President
“Just as the human body is in harmony, the Student Council only functions as each member of its body plays their vital role. The beauty of the Student Council has nothing to do with a system of hierarchy or leadership, but truly the meeting of minds for a united purpose. We strive to upbuild the health of the student body through facilitating the exchange of knowledge, supporting the development and engagement of the wider community. We, as Osteopathic students have this same goal as we strive to be honest and like-minded in our study and practice.”

Spring Symposium

The Canadian Academy of Osteopathy hosts a Spring Symposium every year in June. This event features international lecturers from across the globe as well as graduates of the CAO who are out in the world making a positive impact on the profession.

  • 2016 featured Robert Lever (DO), Bob Schneider (DO), Robert Foster (DO), and John Lewis
  • 2017 featured Jason Haxton (MA), Robert Johnston (M. OMSc), and Steve Paulus (DO).
  • 2018 is set to feature John Lewis, Lee Jarvis, and Yasir Rehman

The Grand Event

The CAO’s Grand Event is the biggest event of the year! We celebrate the CAO and the amazing community we are all part of. The ceremony is held in the Cathedral of the Scottish Rite of Hamilton, recognizing each class completing yet another level of CAO education. Awards and special honors are presented to outstanding students that have exceeded CAO expectations for osteopathy training. Graduates receive their diplomas and graduation coats during the event, followed by a formal dinner, speeches, and dance.

Founder’s Day

Each year in November, the CAO hosts Founder’s Day, where we invite international lecturers to present in front of students and graduates, celebrating the history and founding principles of osteopathic education. In the past, we have hosted osteopathic physicians, historians, anatomists, Doctors, professors, and practitioners from all over the world! Check out our event videos to get a peek into these valuable lectures and workshops.

Our Private Resource Library

At the Canadian Academy of Osteopathy, we are incredibly fortunate to have a valuable collection of osteopathic resources that include artifacts, textbooks, charts, letters of early osteopaths, newspapers, and specimens donated from various sources. As a student, you’ll benefit from our library with such a rich selection of resources when studying and completing projects in class.

This valuable resource collection includes:

  • Natural Skeleton from Dr. Christiansen
  • Original 1939 print of “Anatomical Plates of Nerves” edited by Jones Quain, M.D. and J.W.D.
  • A.T. Still’s boots from the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • A.T. Still’s personal bellows from the Museum of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Personal correspondence from some of the founders of American osteopathy
  • Original presses of Dr. Sutherland’s lectures on osteopathy

Books included in our library include:

  • Osteopathic Lesions of the Sacrum by Raymond Richard
  • Assorted volumes of the Journal of Osteopathy
  • Materia Medica: Pharmacology and Therapeutics by W.B. Saunders
  • The Lengthening Shadow of Dr. Andrew Taylor Still by Hildreth
  • Manual of Practical Anatomy by Cunningham Vol. I, II, & III
  • Principles and Practice of Osteopathy by Downing
  • T. Still: Founder of Osteopathy by Lane
  • The Human Foot by Morton
  • Diseases of the Head and Neck by Deason
  • Surgery by Young

An osteopathic professional practice doesn’t come automatically with a title or designation. It comes to those practitioners who are actually capable of doing the work and changing patients’ lives through osteopathic care. The CAO proves the quality of our education each day, through the exceptional work of our graduates and the achievements they share with us.

The CAO hosts multiple events every year ranging from breakfast, lunches, pub nights, student celebrations, continuing education, and graduations! We love to celebrate our community, students, graduates, accomplishments, and our profession! Check out our FacebookInstagramYouTube, and Twitter Pages for photos and video from all our events!

We are always open to new ideas, let our student council know!

Is A Rewarding Career In Osteopathy Right For You?

If you’re interested in learning more about a career in osteopathy and exploring whether the Canadian Academy of Osteopathy is right for you, fill out the form on this page to receive more information.

For immediate questions, please feel free to call 1-866-320-9898

The CAO provides graduates of its program with a post-graduate diploma. Completion of the program does not result in being conferred a degree designation. In Canada, there are no Canadian universities that offer degrees in osteopathy, rather osteopathic education is almost exclusively offered by private colleges.

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