LCOM Past and Present

  • The history

    In 1927 the Osteopathic Association Clinic in Boston Place was established by members of the British Osteopathic Association, itself created in 1911 as the professional association of osteopaths arriving from the USA less than 20 years after the profession was founded. Initially in Westminster, the Clinic later moved to Dorset Square with clinic facilities in the adjacent Boston Place. The purpose of the Clinic was, and continues to be, to offer osteopathic treatment to the impecunious of London and it was staffed by doctors of osteopathy recently arrived from the USA. Prior to the Second World War all members of the BOA were graduates from the American osteopathic schools.

    In 1946 the London College of Osteopathy was founded to provide a post-graduate course in osteopathy for medical practitioners who would then be eligible to be members of the BOA. In 1978 the name of the college changed to the London College of Osteopathic Medicine. Although the non-medical osteopathic educational institutions have offered tuition to medically qualified doctors, the LCOM is unique world-wide in being specifically dedicated to this purpose. The course at LCOM is currently regulated by the General Osteopathic Council. The Quality Assurance Agency, which assesses many post-graduate institutions in the UK, manages this process.

    In 1998, with the onset of statutory recognition and regulation, the major professional associations of osteopaths in the UK came together under the title British Osteopathic Association. The Members of the London College of Osteopathic Medicine also set up a post-graduate organisation, the Association for Medical Osteopathy, to support career development and ongoing education of medical practitioners in osteopathy.

    The patrons

    LCOM owes its continuing success to Osteopathic Trusts, a registered charity (No. 313751) that was established in 1936 and owns the College and Clinic premises. By regular subsidies it ensures that College fees do not become an obstacle to the education of medical practitioners in osteopathy, and also allows the Clinic to treat those of reduced means at low cost.