Advanced Primary Care Orthopedics: Bridging the Gap in Musculoskeletal Education.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Family medicine


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Musculoskeletal problems are common in primary care, yet many family physicians lack confidence and competence in this area. The Advanced Primary Care Orthopedics (APCO) course utilizes hands-on physical exam instruction, interactive cases, and intentional repetition to teach anatomy, a standardized exam, and important diagnoses. This study assesses the effectiveness of APCO in improving musculoskeletal exam knowledge and confidence.

METHODS: APCO is a 1.5-day course taught annually to family medicine residents. A 1-day course has also been conducted as a preconference workshop targeting faculty physicians. Participants completed pre- and postcourse assessments to evaluate their knowledge and confidence with the musculoskeletal exam. We compared results using mean differences with paired t-test statistics.

RESULTS: In the 2018 and 2019 resident courses, 23 of 30 participants (77%) completed the knowledge assessment and 25 of 30 participants (83%) completed the confidence assessment. Knowledge assessment scores improved by 9.5 points (P

CONCLUSIONS: Participation in the APCO course increased short-term musculoskeletal knowledge and confidence. APCO has many potential applications for residency curricula, faculty development, and continuing medical education.

Clinical Institute

Orthopedics & Sports Medicine




Family Medicine