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Orthopedics (Minnesota)


Orthopedic surgery deals with the development, restoration, preservation, and investigation of the form and function of the spine, extremities, and associated structures by physical, medical, and surgical means. Students in this elective are assigned to an orthopedic service, usually for two weeks, and may rotate through two or more services depending on the duration of the elective. The major clinical areas within the Department of Orthopedics are adult reconstruction, hand and microvascular surgery, foot surgery, pediatric orthopedics, orthopedic oncology, and spine surgery. Specific subspecialty rotations are available in each of the areas by request. We do not accept clerkship rotations the months of January-March.

Specific goals

  1. Develop a greater understanding of congenital and acquired disorders of the musculoskeletal system.
  2. Develop a better knowledge of the principles of evaluation, including orthopedic history taking, orthopedic examination, radiographic evaluation, and other physiological diagnostic procedures.
  3. Develop an understanding of the basic principles involved in the management of orthopedic disorders by physical, medical, and surgical means.
  4. Develop further skill in the preoperative, surgical, and postoperative care of the orthopedic patient.
  5. Develop a basic understanding of the general requirements for rehabilitation of the orthopedic patient.

Activity outline

During this clerkship students participate in all of the service-related orthopedic activities. Students attend clinical rounds with the orthopedic consultant and the orthopedic senior and junior residents, assist in orthopedic surgery, and attend outpatient consultations and evaluation on nonsurgical days. Generally, students take the initial histories and perform physical examinations on orthopedic patients. After the consultants have completed their examination of the patients, the cases are discussed. Students participate in surgery and all related patient-care activities.

Students attend all applicable orthopedic conferences and seminars, including a Tuesday night seminar, a Wednesday morning fracture conference, and a Saturday morning conference. In addition, subspecialty conferences are held within each major clinical basic science section.

Method of evaluation

Students work very closely with consultants and senior residents who assess their performance during the clerkship period.