Welcome Letter

Med Student Programs

Welcome to the Musculoskeletal Surgery Third Year Clerkship at Washington University School of Medicine!  It is our hope that the time you spend with us will be an excellent educational experience for you.  We have put together this packet of information in order to better enable you to meet your educational objectives for this month.

The first thing to remember is that treating patients with musculoskeletal conditions is fun. We (the faculty and residents) chose our careers because of our enjoyment of dealing with people with medical and surgical conditions upon which we can have a positive effect. Our interaction with our patients leads to an enhanced quality of life for them. Remember: Musculoskeletal complaints are some of the most common that physicians encounter every single day. As a primary care physician, people will come into your office complaining of low back and neck pain. As an internist, you will be asked about flat feet, arthritis and shoulder pain. As an endocrinologist, you will be asked about diabetic foot conditions. As a general surgeon, you will be expected to know about trauma and long bone fractures. Perhaps most importantly, as a pediatrician, your patients’ parents and grandparents will expect you to know everything there is to know about hip dysplasia, in-toeing and knock knees. Every neighbor you will ever have will probably ask about how to care for a sprained ankle or painful knee. 

We try to make your time with us educational for both those that are interested in Orthopaedic Surgery as a career, and those headed for other specialties and for primary care. Try to keep in mind that every student learns best in a different way, and that if you feel that your educational experience could be improved, let us know.

Please note that all of our rotations involve travel to either the VA Hospital, our office in Chesterfield, St. Louis Children’s Specialty Care also in Chesterfield, Shriners Hospital, Barnes West County Hospital or Barnes facility on Mason Road.

Textbooks and learning materials are provided for you at the beginning of the rotation. Please be aware that all materials checked out must be returned or a fee will be charged for each item missing and grades will be held until the items are returned. 

It is our hope that this list of requirements will offer you some guidance in this rotation. If there is any way that we can improve or help you gain more education from the time you have spent with us, do not hesitate to let me know.


Thank you,
Cara Cipriano, MD, Director of Medical Student Education 
Nathan Olafsen, MD, Associate Director of Medical Student Education
Carrie Heinemann, 
3rd & 4th Year Musculoskeletal Surgery in Medicine Clerkship Student Coordinator

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