Objective

This is the second phase of a project. The aim was to explore Australian chiropractic and osteopathic new graduates' readiness for transition to practice concerning their clinical skills, professional behaviors, and interprofessional abilities. Phase 1 explored final year students' self-perceptions, and this part uncovered their opinions after 6 months or more in practice.

Methods

Interviews were conducted with a self-selecting sample of phase 1 participant graduates from 2 Australian chiropractic and 2 osteopathic programs. Results of the thematic content analysis of responses were compared to the Australian Chiropractic Standards and Osteopathic Capabilities, the authority documents at the time of the study.

Results

Interviews from graduates of 2 chiropractic courses (n = 6) and 2 osteopathic courses (n = 8) revealed that the majority had positive comments about their readiness for practice. Most were satisfied with their level of clinical skills, verbal communication skills, and manual therapy skills. Gaps in competence were identified in written communications such as case notes and referrals to enable interprofessional practice, understanding of professional behaviors, and business skills. These identified gaps suggest that these graduates are not fully cognizant of what it means to manage their business practices in a manner expected of a health professional.

Conclusion

This small study into clinical training for chiropractic and osteopathy suggests that graduates lack some necessary skills and that it is possible that the ideals and goals for clinical education, to prepare for the transition to practice, may not be fully realized or deliver all the desired prerequisites for graduate practice.

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Author notes

Louise Horstmanshof is the Director of Postgraduate Education in the School of Health and Human Sciences at Southern Cross University (PO Box 157, Lismore, NSW 2480, Australia; louise.horstmanshof@scu.edu.au). Keri Moore is Director of Moore Clinician Education Specialists and Researchers (1243/4 Stuart St., Tweed Heads, NSW 2485, Australia; mooreclinicaleducation@hotmail.com).

Concept development: NH, KM. Design: NH, KM, LH. Supervision: KM. Data collection/processing: NH, KM, LH. Analysis/interpretation: KM, NH. Literature search: NH, KM, LH. Writing: KM. Critical review: KM, LH, NH.