Development of a novel sports medicine rotation for emergency medicine residents.

Research paper by Anna L AL Waterbrook, T Gail TG Pritchard, Allison D AD Lane, Lisa R LR Stoneking, Bryna B Koch, Robert R McAtee, Kristi H KH Grall, Alice A AA Min, Jessica J Prior, Isaac I Farrell, Holly G HG McNulty, Uwe U Stolz

Indexed on: 18 May '16Published on: 18 May '16Published in: Advances in medical education and practice


Musculoskeletal complaints are the most common reason for patients to visit a physician, yet competency in musculoskeletal medicine is invariably reported as a deficiency in medical education in the USA. Sports medicine clinical rotations improve both medical students' and residents' musculoskeletal knowledge. Despite the importance of this knowledge, a standardized sports medicine curriculum in emergency medicine (EM) does not exist. Hence, we developed a novel sports medicine rotation for EM residents to improve their musculoskeletal educational experience and to improve their knowledge in musculoskeletal medicine by teaching the evaluation and management of many common musculoskeletal disorders and injuries that are encountered in the emergency department. The University of Arizona has two distinct EM residency programs, South Campus (SC) and University Campus (UC). The UC curriculum includes a traditional 4-week orthopedic rotation, which consistently rated poorly on evaluations by residents. Therefore, with the initiation of a new EM residency at SC, we replaced the standard orthopedic rotation with a novel sports medicine rotation for EM interns. This rotation includes attendance at sports medicine clinics with primary care and orthopedic sports medicine physicians, involvement in sport event coverage, assigned reading materials, didactic experiences, and an on-call schedule to assist with reductions in the emergency department. We analyzed postrotation surveys completed by residents, postrotation evaluations of the residents completed by primary care sports medicine faculty and orthopedic chief residents, as well as the total number of dislocation reductions performed by each graduating resident at both programs over the last 5 years. While all residents in both programs exceeded the ten dislocation reductions required for graduation, residents on the sports medicine rotation had a statistically significant higher rate of satisfaction of their educational experience when compared to the traditional orthopedics rotation. All SC residents successfully completed their sports medicine rotation, had completed postrotation evaluations by attending physicians, and had no duty hour violations while on sports medicine. In our experience, a sports medicine rotation is an effective alternative to the traditional orthopedics rotation for EM residents.