Current teaching of paediatric musculoskeletal medicine within UK medical schools--a need for change

Sharmila Jandial; Tim Rapley; Helen Foster
May 2009
Rheumatology;May2009, Vol. 48 Issue 5, p587
Academic Journal
Objectives. Doctors involved in the assessment of children have low confidence in their clinical skills within paediatric musculoskeletal (pMSK) medicine and demonstrate poor performance in clinical practice. Core paediatric clinical skills are taught within undergraduate child health teaching but the extent and content of pMSK clinical skills teaching within medical schools is currently unknown. The aim of this study was to describe current pMSK teaching content within child health teaching at UK medical schools. Methods. Structured questionnaires were sent to child health leads at all medical schools within the UK delivering clinical teaching (n = 30). Results. Child health teaching was delivered in all responding medical schools (n = 23/30) predominantly by paediatricians (consultants and senior trainees) and within secondary care. pMSK clinical skills teaching was included in 9/23, delivered predominantly within lectures and featured uncommonly in assessment (6/23, 26%). pMSK clinical skills were reported as being less well taught than other bodily systems, although the majority ranked pMSK to be of equal importance, with the exception of development. Conclusions. pMSK clinical skills medicine is not part of core teaching within child health in the majority of UK medical schools. There is a need to understand the barriers to effective pMSK clinical skills teaching, to achieve consensus on what should be taught and develop resources to facilitate teaching at undergraduate level.


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