Skin and Musculoskeletal System

The Skin Musculoskeletal Course (SMS) is an 8-week multidisciplinary course that brings together three key disciplines: Dermatology, Orthopaedics and Rheumatology and integrates the acquisition of knowledge in these fields with basic science disciplines with which the student has already become familiar including Anatomy, Embryology, Histology, Immunology, Microbiology, Neurosciences, Pharmacology and Physiology. Students will refine and deepen their knowledge of normal structure, function and physiologic processes in the immune system, skin, connective tissue, muscle, nerves, bones and joints. Students will advance, reinforce and integrate the basic science concepts of embryology, genetics and cell and molecular biology to the skin and musculoskeletal system. Students will be introduced to gross anatomy and anatomic dissection. Building on this foundation, students will learn the clinical manifestations of common dermatologic, orthopaedic and rheumatologic diseases. They will be introduced to history taking and physical examination principles with specific reference to presentations in Dermatology, Orthopaedics and Rheumatology. Students will hone their observational, descriptive and integrative skills. They will begin to explore differential diagnosis, clinical problem solving and treatment options in these fields.

As with all other courses during the first year, the Skin Musculoskeletal curriculum will be presented in various formats, which will include: didactic lectures, active learning groups, clinical case discussions, anatomy laboratory dissections, self-directed learning activities, and review and remediation sessions. This multi-dimensional approach to the curriculum is designed to help students not only acquire medical knowledge, but also develop habits of critical thinking. In the active learning groups, faculty facilitators will help guide students through weekly investigation and discussion of clinical case studies. These activities will enable students to acquire competency in communication, team-building, teamwork, management, and leadership skills. The curriculum requires students to assume an active role in their own medical education and will begin the process of developing lifelong learning skills.

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to: