Orthopaedic Surgery

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Medical Student Education

The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery participates in the medical education curriculum for third- and fourth-year medical students at IU School of Medicine through a clerkship program and electives.

Orthopaedic Surgery Clerkship

This third-year student clerkship helps medical students understand how musculoskeletal disease effects of the lives of patients and how these diseases are diagnosed and treated. In this clerkship, students spend approximately one month at one of the following IU School of Medicine’s Indianapolis campus clinical partner facilities: IU Health Methodist Hospital, Eskenazi Health, Riley Hospital for Children or Richard L. Roudebusch VA Medical Center. This clerkship training is valuable to students no matter what medical or surgical discipline they choose to pursue.

Students who take the Orthopaedic Surgery Clerkship learn how to take a musculoskeletal history and how to perform a musculoskeletal physical examination. The rotation also helps students understand treatment protocol for the orthopaedic problems they see. Students attend weekly orthopaedic conferences and a required clerkship conference. Final evaluation is based on subjective assessment by the orthopaedic surgery faculty and residents who consider factors such as performance, attitude, interest in learning, development of orthopaedic skills, evidence of reading attention to patient care, and participation in lectures and case conferences.

Orthopaedic Surgery Electives

The Orthopaedic Clinical Elective (93LA710), a surgical specialty course, emphasizes clinical evaluation, diagnostic testing, diagnoses and treatment plan for patients presenting in a typical clinical setting. Students are involved with operative intervention as well. IU School of Medicine medical students can arrange this elective to gain the clinical exposure most beneficial to their career goals. For example, they can spend the month at one location or divide their time to experience two-to-four services. Clinical assignments are made based on availability and student preferences.

This one-month elective focusing on Surgery of the Hand Elective (93LA716) offers exposure to common and complex hand and upper extremity conditions. Third- and- fourth-year medical students enrolled in this course see patients in both an office and operational setting and become acquainted with management of hand injuries as well as surgical reconstruction of hand deformities, congenital malformations and disease. Anatomy, methods of examination, diagnosis and patient management are reviewed with clinical application on a large volume of patients. This elective is comprised of 50 percent clinical and 50 percent operation room experience, and training takes place at IU Health hospitals as well as Indiana Hand Center and St. Vincent Hospital.

The Pediatric Orthopaedics Elective (93LA720) acquaints third- and fourth-year medical students with the orthopaedic examination of a newborn, infant and adolescent. Students learn to distinguish between normal and abnormal growth development as well as the principles of evaluation, diagnosis and treatment for a variety of congenital and developmental pediatric orthopaedic problems. This elective is 85 percent clinical, 5 percent lecture and 10 percent library time dedicated to the detailed study of specific case histories and preparation of reports. Students gain experience at Riley Hospital for Children.

The Musculoskeletal Surgical Oncology Elective is a unique course that offers an exciting introduction to the world of musculoskeletal oncology. Clinical work is split between the pediatric and adult services and involves instruction in the radiologic and clinical diagnosis, surgical planning, surgical intervention, pathologic evaluation and oncologic follow-up of benign and malignant lesions of the extremities. Experience is 70 percent clinical, 15 percent research and 15 percent lecture. Students are strongly encouraged to research a topic of interest and submit research for publication with faculty support. Upon completion, students are able to assess radiographic studies and formulate a differential diagnosis, and they understand the multi-disciplinary treatment for musculoskeletal oncology patients. Through this elective, students become familiar with surgical resection techniques and gain experience in the pathologic evaluation and diagnosis of musculoskeletal tumors. This elective is best suited for third- and- fourth-year medical students who are interested in radiology, pathology, surgery, pediatrics, orthopaedics or oncology as a career specialty.