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Fundamentals of Orthopaedics

Updated: 10/06/22

PREREQUISITES:  Students must have completed their M3 Core Clerkships in Ob/Gyn or Surgery.

PURPOSE: The student should be able to perform physical examination of the musculoskeletal system, and should have the knowledge of principles, normal and abnormal findings of the various imaging modalities of the musculoskeletal system such as x-ray, tomograms, CT scan, MRI, and various nuclear scans. The student should also have the knowledge of etiology, clinical presentation, pathophysiology of the common musculoskeletal system disorders to be able to establish and formulate a treatment program.

In the process of completing this course students acquire the following competencies:

  •   Diagnose and manage musculoskeletal trauma encountered in the emergency room or in primary care settings;
  • Evaluate and treat low back pain, tendon and joint injuries, and degenerative joint disease;
  • Recognize and evaluate musculoskeletal diseases and abnormalities that require specialized treatment.

Students will be assigned to the University of Illinois Hospital and clinics. The student will be assigned to the various services in small groups and will attend outpatient and inpatient activities. They will be provided with hands-on experience in examining the musculoskeletal system and in diagnosing and managing the various muscoloskeletal diseases. Students will rotate through the Orthopaedic Service Monday through Friday. Lectures and conferences will be conducted on Wednesday mornings. Students will be loaned the recommended reading textbook to be used during the two week rotation.

Student performance will be evaluated by Residents using the College of Medicine Clerkship Evaluation forms. Factors going into this will be performance skills and knowledge gained in patient evaluation and a written examination.

Recommended Reading: Blueprints Orthopaedics, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Administrative Information Heading link

  • Program Number

    ELEC 340

  • Program Contacts

    Program Director:  Alfonso Mejia, MD (

    Program Coordinator:  Janice Patton (
    Telephone:  312-996-7161 and 312-996-0223

  • Program Information

    Location:  UI Health

    Duration:  2 Weeks
    Night Call:  Optional
    Weekends:  Optional
    Students Accepted:  1
    Housestaff Used as Faculty:  Yes
    Inpatient/Faculty Contact:  4
    Laboratory/Independent Study:  0
    Outpatient:  36
    Total Hours /Week:  40

  • Reporting Instructions

    Report to the Department of Orthopaedics, Room E290, for Orientation at 6:30 AM on the first day of the rotation. The Department of Orthopaedics is located at 835 S. Wolcott Ave Chicago, IL 60612.