Musculoskeletal education in medical schools: Are we making the cut?

By the Washington Health Policy Fellows

The US Bone & Joint Decade (USBJD) campaign has improved public awareness, increased research efforts, and enhanced clinical care for musculoskeletal (MSK) disorders. One major goal of the USBJD has been to improve the MSK knowledge base of physicians who practice primary care medicine, because these physicians actually manage most patient visits related to MSK conditions.

MSK-related complaints are the most common reason patients visit primary care physicians and emergency departments in the United States, accounting for 10 percent to 28 percent of all primary care visits. Despite this high frequency of MSK disorders, significant evidence indicates that most primary care physicians do not feel adequately prepared to address such patient complaints.

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