Assessment of an Orthopedic Surgery Rotation on Musculoskeletal Competency in Emergency Medicine Residency Training

Gillian Schmitz, Jared Cohen, James Aden, Michael Lawson, John Kucera, Craig Kampfer, Meera Gebrael, Matthew R. Schmitz, Patrick Osborn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To determine baseline knowledge of emergency medicine (EM) residents at 2 different residency training programs and assess if a 4-week orthopedic surgery rotation would improve musculoskeletal (MSK) knowledge as assessed by the basic competency exam (BCE). This study also sought to compare variations of the BCE to determine how emergency physicians would perform on the full 25-question assessment vs a modified 18-question test. Design: Residents from 2 different EM residency training programs were given the BCE to determine baseline MSK knowledge prior to their orthopedic surgery rotations. A postrotation BCE was given to the residents from both EM training programs upon completion of their orthopedic surgery rotation. Both prerotation and postrotation tests were reviewed and scored independently by a panel of experts and later assessed by 2 independent reviewers. Setting: San Antonio Military Medical Center, SA Tx Level I Trauma, Tertiary Care Center University of Texas Health, SA, Tx, Level 1 Trauma, Tertiary Care Center. Participants: A total of 54 EM residents completed both the prerotation test and pos-rotation test. Results: EM residents at both programs had significantly improved test scores after an orthopedic surgery rotation. Baselines scores of PGY-2 residents were higher than PGY-1 residents. Conclusions: EM residents can improve their competency in MSK education with a 4-week rotation in orthopedic surgery. Further studies are needed to determine knowledge retention and to identify components of an optimal orthopedic rotation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)986-990
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • basic competency exam
  • graduate medical education
  • musculoskeletal education
  • orthopedic training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Education


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