Clinical Skills 6 develops clinical reasoning and critical thinking for osteopathic practice. It further develops students' skills in case-history taking, clinical examination, osteopathic manual techniques and management of common conditions presenting in osteopathic practice. There is a focus on High Velocity Low Amplitude (HVLA) techniques for junctional and peripheral regions.

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:


HBS3504 - Clinical Skills 5

HBO3009 - Biomedical Science for Osteopathy 9

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Elicit a patient and condition-specific clinical history;  
  2. Integrate clinical reasoning with practical skills to justify diagnosis and management of common conditions presenting in osteopathic practice;  
  3. Exhibit osteopathic manual techniques and management strategies for conditions of the spine and peripheral joints; and  
  4. Justify the contributors and mechanisms of pain to patient management.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Exercise Clinical reasoning group task (500 words, 45 mins in-class) 10%
Other History taking reflection task (600 words) 20%
Case Study Written report (1000 words, 75 mins in-class) 30%
Examination Practical exam (hurdle requirement) (45mins) 40%
80% attendance is required for classes in the osteopathic program (hurdle requirement) as outlined in the AOAC accreditation documentation. The practical examinations are a hurdle requirement and as such a minimum pass grade for these assessments is required to satisfactorily complete the unit overall.

Required reading

Manipulation of the spine, thorax and pelvis: An osteopathic perspective 4th ed.
Gibbons, P., & Tehan, P. (2016)
Australia: Elsevier

Brukner and Khan's Clinical Sports Medicine 5th ed. Vol 1.
Brukner, P., & Khan, K.(2016)
Sydney, Australia: McGraw Hill

RECOMMENDED TEXTS Students will be provided with an up-to-date reading list via the VU Collaborate system. Bickley, L.S. & Szilagyi, P.G. (2017) Bates' guide to physical examination and history taking 12th ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer. DeStefano, L. A. (2017) Greenman's principles of manual medicine 5th ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer.

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This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

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