AAOS Bulletin - June, 2005

Grants support musculoskeletal instruction at U.S. medical schools

Pfizer, Zimmer grants bring “Musculoskeletal Medicine” textbook to 13 medical schools

By Carolyn Rogers

Thousands of first- and second-year U.S. medical students will receive comprehensive musculoskeletal medicine instruction as part of their school’s core curriculum, thanks to two new grant programs from Pfizer and Zimmer.

The grants are enabling the Academy to distribute the AAOS textbook, Musculoskeletal Medicine, to 13 medical schools across the country. The funds are being provided in support of Project 100—the U.S. Bone and Joint Decade initiative to ensure that 100 percent of U.S. medical schools offer required instruction in musculoskeletal medicine by 2011.

Pfizer grant provides textbooks to 12 medical schools

Earlier this year, the Academy secured a $175,000 grant from Pfizer to distribute the Musculoskeletal Medicine textbook to 12 U.S. medical schools.

The participating schools are: Harvard Medical School, Boston; Columbia University Medical Center, New York City; Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster, Ontario, Canada; David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California-Los Angeles; University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle; Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine at the University of Iowa, Iowa City; University of South Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Vermillion, S.D.; University of Nebraska College of Medicine, Omaha, Neb.; University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia; University of Kansas School of Medicine, Wichita, Kan.; Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, St. Louis; Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

Bonnie M. Simpson, MD, (fourth from left) is joined by students, clinical faculty and senior level administrators at Howard University School of Medicine.

“We’re trying to put musculoskeletal medicine and education on musculoskeletal disease on the radar screen of U.S. medical schools,” says Martin I. Boyer, MD, who wrote a teacher’s manual that helps instructors incorporate Musculoskeletal Medicine into the classroom. “We want to improve the level of exposure that students have to musculoskeletal medicine. Right now it’s very low.”

The Pfizer grant program proved popular, with twice as many schools seeking to participate than could be accepted. Selection was based in part on whether the school already had a musculoskeletal program or a plan in place for the use of the textbooks.

“Most of the schools were already providing some musculoskeletal instruction,” says Dr. Boyer, who led the committee that determined which schools received the grants. “This book will help them to strengthen their curricula.”

The Academy is currently working with the National Board of Medical Examiners to write an orthopaedic and musculoskeletal medicine shelf exam that will help measure the effectiveness of musculoskeletal medicine programs in the future.

Howard University receives grant

Zimmer Inc. has enthusiastically supported many of the AAOS Diversity Committee’s efforts to open up the field of orthopaedics to a broader array of people. Upon hearing of the Project 100 initiative, Zimmer volunteered to provide Musculoskeletal Medicine textbooks to first- and second- year students at Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C.

Bonnie M. Simpson, MD, the primary musculoskeletal medicine instructor at Howard, has been instrumental in incorporating musculoskeletal instruction—including the Musculoskeletal Medicine text—into Howard’s curriculum.

“There’s such a deficit of quality musculoskeletal medicine references that can be digested at the medical student level,” Dr. Simpson says. “This text really fills a void.”

At a large collaborative meeting last fall—attended by numerous Howard faculty members, the medical school dean, senior administrators and a representative from Zimmer—AAOS staff introduced the text and Dr. Simpson presented her proposal for integrating it into Howard’s curriculum.

“The faculty at Howard was so eager to embrace the program,” reports AAOS marketing director Lewis Jenkins. “They had just finished a major revision of their medical school curriculum, but they weren’t reluctant in the least to change it. They just took the ball and ran with it.”

Orthopaedic clinical faculty members at Howard include Dr. Simpson, Richard E. Grant, MD, and Robert H. Wilson, MD—all from Howard University Hospital, Division of Orthopaedic Surgery. The three orthopaedists played a major role in incorporating Musculoskeletal Medicine into the program.

“I can’t say enough about the work they’ve done on site,” says Jenkins. “Howard is already well ahead of some other schools involved with Project 100.”

Text “easily integrated”

The faculty was able to incorporate Musculoskeletal Medicine into the medical school curriculum with little difficulty, Dr. Simpson says.

“It was very easy to integrate this text into the curriculum because it fills such a void in the basic science curriculum,” she says. “The book integrates both the basic science and clinical sciences involved across the board, including internal medicine, pediatrics and orthopaedic surgery.”

Medical students at Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C., examine their new Musculoskeletal Medicine textbooks.

Howard was able to implement the new musculoskeletal program immediately because they already had some clinical lectures scheduled for the 2004-2005 academic year, Dr. Simpson explains.

“For our first-year class, we used the text to reformat some of the clinical correlations lectures that were given during the gross anatomy course—particularly during the extremity dissection portion,” she says.

For the second-year class, they were able to provide a clinical correlations lecture on autoimmune and inflammatory arthritis during the musculoskeletal pathology course.

“We also used the text to develop some clinical vignettes that were presented during problem-based learning sessions,” she says.

Students give course high marks

Faculty and students alike have responded enthusiastically to the new text and coursework.

“The students are saying these are some of the most exciting lectures they’ve received all year,” Dr. Simpson reports. “They like the book and the accompanying CD, which actually goes through the physical exam of the musculoskeletal system.”

Dr. Simpson and Lewis Jenkins are currently developing an evaluation form to assess the efficacy of the lectures as well as the text. The form will be completed by both clinicians and students at the end of each year.

“Our students will also be expected to use the Musculoskeletal Medicine text and CD during their third-year orthopaedic surgery rotation, and evaluations will be obtained from the students accordingly,” Dr. Simpson says. “The text will be a valuable resource for students throughout their entire medical school career.”

For more information on the Musculoskeletal Medicine textbook, visit: the Academy Store.


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