Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
BMC Med Educ. 2011 Sep 23;11:65. doi: 10.1186/1472-6920-11-65.

The impact of trained patient educators on musculoskeletal clinical skills attainment in pre-clerkship medical students.

Author information

  • 1Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.



Despite the high burden of musculoskeletal (MSK) diseases, few generalists are comfortable teaching MSK physical examination (PE) skills. Patient Partners® in Arthritis (PP®IA) is a standardized patient educator program that could potentially supplement current MSK PE teaching. This study aims to determine if differences exist in MSK PE skills between non-MSK specialist physician and PP®IA taught students.


Pre-clerkship medical students attended 2-hour small group MSK PE teaching by either non-MSK specialist physician tutors or by PP®IA. All students underwent an MSK OSCE and completed retrospective pre-post questionnaires regarding comfort with MSK PE and interest in MSK.


83 students completed the OSCE (42 PP®IA, 41 physician taught) and 82 completed the questionnaire (42 PP®IA, 40 physician taught). There were no significant differences between groups in OSCE scores. For all questionnaire items, post-session ratings were significantly higher than pre-session ratings for both groups. In exploratory analysis PP®IA students showed significantly greater improvement in 12 of 22 questions including three of five patient-centred learning questions.


PP®IA MSK PE teaching is as good as non-MSK specialist physician tutor teaching when measured by a five station OSCE and provide an excellent complementary resource to address current deficits in MSK PE teaching.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for BioMed Central Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk