Enhancing clinical education in the private practice setting: a case study in osteopathy

Document Type


Publication details

Moore, K & Field, BJ 2017, 'Enhancing clinical education in the private practice setting: a case study in osteopathy', International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine, vol. 2, pp. 42-50.

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Peer Reviewed




This paper explores constraints, considerations and educational benefits around pre-professional student learning in a private osteopathic clinical practice.


To elicit faculty attitude toward and education in a private practice setting, to ascertain students' experiences of the educational value in attending a private clinic.


In this case study individual interviews were conducted with faculty at three universities and, separately, with the owner manage of the private practice in focus. Students attending the practice were surveyed.


Eight students from three universities, a member of faculty of each and one private practice owner/manager participated. Hurdles for the university regarding clinical education in private practice include: practitioner availability versus student availability; practitioners without knowledge and skills for clinical education; resource intensive logistical and educational processes. Nevertheless, students regarded the opportunity highly and report substantial improvement in clinical competence in this one setting. A featured learning strategy was the student Personal Learning Plan.


From the student perspective, this particular case study shows the approach to clinical education achieved success in assisting their development of core osteopathic clinical competencies. Universities may be inclined to further encourage student participation in clinical education in private osteopathic practices if an accreditation system for osteopathic private practitioner-educators is developed.

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