Fall 2022 Hybrid Introduction to Osteopathy in the Cranial Field WITH SCHOLARSHIP


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*** FOR STUDENTS AND RESIDENTS ONLY:  Register for this version of the course if you have received a scholarship from the Foundation already. The deadline to apply has passed, and we are no longer accepting applications for this course.***

Expand Your Osteopathic Skills with a Deeper Understanding of the Central Nervous System

Highly regarded by its practitioners and patients, cranial osteopathy studies the anatomy and physiology of the cranium and its inter-relationship with the body as a whole. Find out how this method may be applied for the prevention and treatment of disease and enhancement of health.

What You Will Learn

  • Explore the five components of the primary respiratory mechanism, including articular, cerebrospinal fluid, fascial/membranous and nervous system anatomy.
  • Deepen your understanding of the body as a dynamic unit with a capacity for self-healing.
  • Establish the basis for palpatory diagnosis and treatment.

Course Director: Richard F. Smith, DO
Assistant Course Director: Annette Hulse, DO

Registration Fee: $1895.00 ($995.00 after scholarship)

The OCA has developed a hybrid format for this course with both online and in-person components:

  • Virtual Lectures and Group Discussions: Lectures will be presented online, with 4.5 hours of video recordings delivered each week beginning Sept 12th. At the end of each week, participants will join in a mandatory 1 hour-long discussion group via Zoom on Sept 18, Sept 25, Oct 2 and Oct 9, 2022 (multiple time slots will be available).
  • Regional In-Person Labs: The hand-over-hand training for which the OCA is well known will be held in small groups regionally. The Lab portion of your course will take place over a three-day weekend this fall. Lab locations include: Kansas City, MO: Oct 21-23, 2022, Long Island, NY: Nov 4-6, 2022, San Francisco, CA: Nov 11-13, 2022 and Fort Worth, TX: Dec 2-4, 2022. The labs will be similar to those at previous Introductory Courses, with hands-on instruction by experienced trainers at a 1:4 faculty student ratio.

Scroll down for more information including course details, liability release, schedule, who can attend and more.

To register, please

  1. Select your Lab location
  2. Review the liability release and check box
  3. Complete other fields (if they apply), then
  4. Click “Add to cart.”

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The Cranial Academy Foundation will be providing a limited number of partial tuition scholarships for this course.  Apply directly with the Foundation for the scholarship.  If you are applying for a scholarship and you don’t receive one, when you register for this course you will need to decide whether you want to be enrolled in the course at full price or be credited with a refund.

Course Schedule

Lecture Week 1:  Self-study online video lectures (approx 4-5 hours) Sep 12-18.  Mandatory Zoom small group discussion Sep 18 (various times will be available).

Lecture Week 2: Self-study online video lectures (approx 4-5 hours) Sep 19-25.  Mandatory Zoom small group discussion Sep 25 (various times will be available).

Lecture Week 3: Self-study online video lectures (approx 4-5 hours) Sep 26-Oct 2.  Mandatory Zoom small group discussion Oct 2 (various times will be available).

Lecture Week 4: Self-study online video lectures (approx 4-5 hours) Oct 3-9.  Mandatory Zoom small group discussion Oct 9 (various times will be available).

Hands-on Labs:  After completing the 4 weeks of lectures and discussion groups, course participants will do 3 full days of  hands-on labs in small groups distributed regionally around the country with experienced OCA faculty as table trainers in 1:4 ratio.

Kansas City MO – Oct 21 -23

Long Island NY – Nov 4-6

San Francisco CA – Nov 11-13

Fort Worth TX – Dec 2 -4

Las Cruces, NM – Jan 14-16, 2023 – NEW LOCATION!

Liability Release

Liability Release: Participation in this program will involve physical activity, including contact by and with instructors and other participants. This, and particularly activity involving physical diagnostics and manual therapeutics, could possibly entail risks for participants of new injury or aggravation of pre-existing conditions.
By applying to participate, the applicant acknowledges and assumes the risk associated with participating in the laboratory sessions and agrees to hold The Osteopathic Cranial Academy and fellow participants harmless indemnify, defend and free of liability from and against any damage or personal injury that might occur during or as a result of participation in this program. Furthermore, the applicant covenants to hold harmless, indemnify, and defend The Osteopathic Cranial Academy from and against any use or misuse that applicant may make at any time of any knowledge or information that applicant derives from participation in this program. The applicant should carry adequate liability insurance which would be activated in the instance of the use or misuse of this knowledge or information. Participants in the course are examined and treated by instructors following the course in case any problems arise from treatment by fellow students.

I acknowledge that I have read the Liability Release and agree to the statement. It is the responsibility of ALL participants to use the information provided within the scope of their professional license or practice.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellation policy:

All cancellations must be received in writing at the office of The Osteopathic Cranial Academy on or before the first day of the online portion of the course, and are subject to administrative fee of 15% of the total registration fee.  No discount will be provided for individuals not participating in food functions at the in-person labs.  Participants who cannot complete the course for any reason will be offered the option to repeat the Hybrid course at its next offering.  Requests for a change in lab dates/locations must be made at least at least 14 days prior to the start of the earlier of the two lab sessions.

Who Can Attend

Introductory Course: Osteopathy in the Cranial Field

The Osteopathic Cranial Academy supports and encourages educating the health care community about the principles and practices of osteopathic medicine. The Introductory Course is a hands-on program that builds upon medical knowledge and clinical experience. In order for our students to learn the scope of practice of Osteopathy in the Cranial Field (OCF), in a comprehensive fashion and in order for them to apply this form of practice in a manner that is both safe and appropriate, it is crucial that they meet the necessary prerequisites for the Introductory Course.

I. Medical Physicians

Osteopathy and OCF are part of the practice of medicine. The Osteopathic Cranial Academy’s Introductory Course is designed to teach the integration of OCF into the practice of medicine. This course assumes a strong background of education and training in the biomedical sciences and in the clinical observation and treatment of pathology in patients.

In order for students to learn this scope of practice in a comprehensive fashion and in order for them to apply this form of practice in a manner that is both safe and appropriate, it is crucial that they have received or be in an advanced stage of the process of acquiring a broad and comprehensive level of medical educational training. Such training should include two years of didactic training in the basic and clinical biomedical sciences as taught in accredited (AOA, COCA or LCME) medical and ADA-accredited dental schools. Such training should also include three years of intensive training in approved clinical teaching settings, including extensive training in hospital settings where students are exposed to addressing the diagnosis and treatment of patients who manifest a broad range both in type and severity of clinical pathology. This is the level of education and training which leads to a license for the unlimited scope and practice of medicine, as defined by medical licensing boards in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Medical Physicians trained outside the US who reside and practice outside the US must be eligible for unlimited licensure within the United States.

II. Dental Physicians

Our organization has a long-standing professional relationship with members of the dental profession. Dentists are licensed to treat dental and dental occlusal problems and temporomandibular joint dysfunction, using dental, orthopedic, orthodontic, and surgical treatments. The application of these forms of treatment have a direct and immediate impact upon the relationships between the cranial bones and related structures, and in younger individuals, can have a dramatic and long term impact upon craniofacial and postural development.

It is essential for the well-being of our patients that we continue to maintain communication and develop mutual understanding with members of the dental profession. Dentists are encouraged to attend our courses so that they can understand the affects of dental treatments on the cranial mechanisms of our mutual patients, and so that they can learn to recognize how cranial somatic dysfunction can effect both the development and treatment of dental orthopedic and orthodontic pathology. This learning process involves training in osteopathic concepts. It also requires hands-on training in the palpatory skills which are required both to diagnose cranial somatic dysfunction and to recognize the effects of appropriate treatment upon the cranial mechanism.

By encouraging dental participation in our courses, the Academy hopes to encourage the ongoing development of dental practice that recognizes and works in harmony with the Primary Respiratory Mechanism. The Academy recognizes that dentists are not fully licensed for the unlimited scope and practice of medicine. However, dentists are the most fully trained and fully licensed professionals for treatment of dental, dental orthopedic, and dental orthodontic problems. For these reasons, The Osteopathic Cranial Academy allows and encourages licensed dentists to attend our Introductory Course.

III. International Osteopathic Graduates

“International Osteopathic Graduates” refers to graduates of osteopathic educational programs outside the United States who practice and reside outside the United States.

The Osteopathic Cranial Academy is committed to advancing the teaching of cranial osteopathy throughout the world, and therefore welcomes qualified Doctors of Osteopathy or Registered Practitioners of Osteopathy practicing in countries other than the United States into the Introductory Course. International osteopathic education does not follow the model used in the United States. While osteopaths trained in countries other than the United States may not receive the same basic science curriculum or level of clinical training required by colleges of osteopathic medicine, accredited by the American Osteopathic Association’s Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation, these individuals are educated in and practice the principles of osteopathy.

An individual’s qualifications for practice, and the scope of practice, are determined by each country’s laws of licensure. There is a great deal of variation in the licensure requirements of different nations. Admission into The Osteopathic Cranial Academy Introductory Course requires that individuals who complete an osteopathic educational program and practice and reside outside the United States either possess unlimited licensure for the practice of medicine or are members in good standing of a national osteopathic registry or the appropriate governmental licensing authority, the standards of which have been reviewed and approved by The Osteopathic Cranial Academy.

The Osteopathic Cranial Academy will evaluate applications from International Osteopathic Graduates on a case-by-case basis. The Osteopathic Cranial Academy reserves the right to request additional information about the education and training of any International Osteopathic Graduate who applies for admission to the Introductory Course.



The Osteopathic Cranial Academy has requested that the AOA Council on Continuing Medical Education approve this program for 40 hours of Category 1-A AOA CME. Approval is currently pending.

PLEASE NOTE: If you register for this course and do not meet the eligibility requirements for it, your tuition payment will be refunded, minus a $25 processing fee. If you have any questions about your eligibility, please contact the OCA office before registering.


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