3125 Other professional occupations in health diagnosing and treating

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Lead statement

This unit group includes health professionals who diagnose and treat the diseases and injuries of patients and who are not elsewhere classified. This includes doctors of podiatric medicine, chiropodists and podiatrists, naturopaths, orthoptists and osteopaths. They work in private practices, clinics and hospitals.

Example Titles

  • chiropodist
  • doctor of osteopathy
  • doctor of podiatric medicine (D.P.M.)
  • foot specialist
  • naturopath
  • naturopathic doctor (ND)
  • orthoptist
  • osteopath
  • osteopathic physician
  • podiatrist

Main duties

  • The following is a summary of the main duties for some occupations in this unit group:
    • Doctors of podiatric medicine are primary care practitioners who diagnose diseases, deformities and injuries of the human foot and communicate diagnoses to patients. They treat patients using braces, casts, shields, orthotic devices, physical therapy, or prescribed medications. Doctors of podiatric medicine may also perform surgery on the bones of the forefoot and the subcutaneous soft tissues of the foot.
    • Chiropodists and diploma or first-degree trained podiatrists diagnose diseases, deformities and injuries of the human foot and treat patients using braces, casts, shields, orthotic devices, physical therapy and subcutaneous soft-tissue foot surgery.
    • Naturopaths diagnose patients' diseases and disorders and employ natural methods of healing such as acupuncture and acupressure, spinal manipulation, reflexology, hydrotherapy, herbal medicines, biochemical therapy, clinical nutrition, homeopathy and counselling in their treatment.
    • Orthoptists work alongside ophthalmologists in the diagnosis and treatment of eye disorders by performing specialized eye tests to measure and assess defective binocular vision or abnormal eye movement in patients and prescribing treatment such as eye exercises or patching regimens.
    • Osteopaths or osteopathic physicians diagnose disorders and injuries of the musculo-skeletal, circulatory and nervous systems and treat patients with manipulative therapy, medications or surgery.

Employment requirements

  • Doctors of podiatric medicine (D.P.M.)
    • A four-year doctoral degree program in podiatric medicine available in the United States and in Quebec, normally following completion of a bachelor's degree program, is required.
    • A medical residency is required in Alberta and British Columbia.
    • A doctor of podiatric medicine (D.P.M.) degree is required to practise podiatry in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.
  • Chiropodists and podiatrists
    • A three-year diploma program in chiropody (DCh) obtained in Canada or A first-degree program in podiatric medicine (D.Pod.M.) obtained abroad (United Kingdom) is usually required.
    • A licence is required in New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.
  • Naturopaths
    • A university degree in pre-medical science is required.
    • Completion of a university program in naturopathic medicine, obtained abroad or A four-year program in naturopathic medicine from a private institute is required.
    • A licence is required in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.
  • Orthoptists
    • A bachelor's degree and completion of a two-year accredited training program in orthoptics are required.
    • Certification with the Canadian Orthoptic Council is required.
    • Continuing education is required for recertification with the Canadian Orthoptic Council.
  • Osteopaths
    • A bachelor's degree is required for admission to a doctor of osteopathy program.
    • A four-year program in osteopathic medicine leading to a doctor of osteopathy degree and A one-year medical residency are required. These qualifications are usually obtained in the United States.
    • A licence is required in New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.

Additional information

  • Chiropodist and podiatrist titles are used interchangeably in some provinces, although the title podiatrist is becoming more common. The use of the podiatrist job title does not necessarily refer to doctors of podiatric medicine (D.P.M.).
  • Orthoptists often work as part of a medical team which includes ophthalmologists, opticians and other ophthalmic medical personnel.
  • Orthoptists may also be trained as ophthalmic technicians or technologists.
  • Osteopaths may obtain a licence as general practitioners.
  • Osteopaths have full scope of practice in New Brunswick, Quebec and Alberta, and limited scope of practice (to practise osteopathic manipulative medicine) in Ontario and Saskatchewan.
  • There are two licences in British Columbia for osteopaths – one allows the doctor of osteopathy full scope of practice rights, while the other limits practice to osteopathic manipulative medicine.

Exclusions

  • Chiropractors (31223122)
  • General practitioners and family physicians (31123112)
  • Practitioners of natural healing (32323232)
  • Specialist physicians (31113111)