Course ID: MED 797AE/997AE
Discipline: Surgery
Prerequisites: MED 810 General Surgery Clerkship
Available Sites: Lapeer, Mount Pleasant, Owosso, Saginaw
Duration: 4 weeks


Musculoskeletal complaints are among the most common reasons for patients to seek care. The principles of musculoskeletal care are essential to the practice of primary care and specialist physicians. This elective will provide learners exposure to ambulatory and operative orthopedics, with focus on the examination of traumatic and non-traumatic musculoskeletal complaints.

Key Objectives

  • Evaluate orthopedic injuries of patients in an acute care setting (ambulatory and emergency department)
  • Demonstrate the ability to obtain and report a basic orthopedic patient history for common orthopedic conditions and injuries with particular emphasis on the chief complaint, inciting events, mechanism of injury, exacerbating and alleviating factors, timing of symptoms and associated symptoms.
  • Perform basic exam for each joint and spine.
  • Recognize indications for appropriate radiographic and laboratory studies.
  • Based on radiographic and laboratory studies, generate a coherent differential diagnosis and treatment plan.
  • Determine an appropriate period of follow-up patients, and plan when to discharge patient from care.
  • Describe the pathophysiology, clinical presentation, and exam findings of primary and secondary osteoarthritis of the shoulder, knee and hip.
  • Accurately describe fractures, dislocations, and subluxations. Discuss the clinical and radiological features of fractures including:
  • Given a common fracture or disloctation, correctly describe management priorities.
  • Recognize and describe appropriate management for complications of orthopedic injuries, including:
    • Local and systemic infection, including osteomyeltiis
    • Delayed union
    • Compartment syndrome
    • Deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism
  • Correctly demonstrate the following procedures:
    • Simple sutures and skin stapling
    • Surgical scrub technique
    • Splint application (posterior, ulnar gutter, thumb spica, volar, posterior leg with stirrup)
    • Cast application

Assessment Method

College of Medicine standard elective assessment will be completed by supervising faculty at conclusion of elective clerkship.

Scheduling Information

Interested students should contact CMU College of Medicine Department of Distributed Clinical Education at