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Clerkship Program

Knowledge Objectives

Students must be familiar with the following areas (and when applicable with the signs, symptoms, relevant investigations, treatments and prognosis) of:

  1. Fractures and dislocations.
  2. Painful and/or swollen joints
  3. Limb deformity.
  4. Inflammatory and no-inflammatory arthritis.
  5. Musculoskeletal tumours
  6. Cervical/low back pain and sciatica
  7. Metabolic bone diseases (e.g. osteoporosis, osteomalacia)

Skills Objectives

  1. Musculoskeletal examination of the limbs and spine.
  2. Specific neurovascular examination of the arm and leg
  3. Recognition and understanding of the principles of treatment for Orthopaedic emergencies:
    • Compartment Syndrome.
    • Compound fracture
    • Post-traumatic ischemic limb
    • Hip dislocation
    • Cauda equina syndrome.
  4. The primary (first aid) management of fractures, dislocations, spinal injuries.
  5. The principles of assessment and management of a multiple trauma patient.
  6. The application of a cast or splint.
  7. The principles and techniques of joint aspiration (specifically knee).
  8. The principles and techniques of antisepsis in the Orthopedic Operating Room.
  9. Awareness of the diagnosis and treatment of operative complications in the hospital and clinic setting.

Information for Medical Students

The Division of Orthopaedic Surgery at McMaster University offers a 4 week elective PA clerkship rotation that will provide generalist PA students with the knowledge and skills to enable them to recognize and understand common musculoskeletal problems.  In addition, for the student who may be seeking a career path in orthopedics it will provide the foundations needed to allow them to start to develop the broader knowledge of orthopedic surgery that will allow them to become effective contributors to orthopedic surgical teams.

The following outlines some of the knowledge and skills that should be acquired by the end of the rotation. The objectives outlined must be considered as nominal and must not act as a limit to a student's personal learning in the diagnosis and management of musculoskeletal related diseases. Where the topic is not directly experienced in clinical practice the student should take the opportunity to pursue the topic through independent study.

In addition, the student must:

  1. Attend Orthopaedic Clinic (Fracture Clinic, Specialty Clinic or Surgeon’s office).
  2. Be observed performing a physical examination.
  3. Record in an acceptable fashion a history and physical examination with formulation of diagnosis and treatment plan, and present this to the Health Care team.
  4. Attend surgery for:
    • Joint replacement or deformity correction.
    • Fracture/dislocation care.
  5. Write Admission and Post-Op Orders.
  6. Perform “on call” duties with the Resident supervisor two week days and one weekend day per rotation.

Attention McMaster University students! Electives and Student Affairs information and forms for McMaster University students have been moved to Medportal.

The Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine allows a limited number of students enrolled in accredited medical schools from around the world to undertake electives at McMaster. Please click on the appropriate link for further information on the application procedure for students from Canadian schools and International schools

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