Course Description

The Musculoskeletal and Nervous System I (MSNSI) Block deals with the structures of the upper and lower extremities, spine, brain stem and related structures using a multidisciplinary approach. It covers the fundamental tissues of the musculoskeletal system (i.e. bone, joint and ligament along with the skin). It also covers the peripheral and part of the central nervous system that includes the motor and sensory neuron, spinal nerve root, brachial and lumbosacral plexus, peripheral nerve, neuromuscular junction and muscle. Bacterial, fungal, viral and parasitic skin disorders are also covered. Spinal cord pathways and disorders are also included to facilitate smooth transition into the Nervous System II  block that deals with the central nervous system above the level of the brain stem. The goal is to understand normal and abnormal mechanisms of development of tissues and pathophysiological mechanisms of various disease processes, including trauma in the pediatric and adult patient population. Rehabilitative aspects of various disease processes will also be discussed. In conjunction with didactic lectures, case-based instruction, Individualized Learning Modules (ILMs) and laboratory-based teaching sessions are also used in order to help students apply information to clinical scenarios. The curriculum is further strengthened by inclusion of lectures on biostatistics, HIPAA and patient panels.

Learning Objectives

Educational Program Objectives are a subset of more broadly defined physician competencies, which represent general domains of performance for which the profession and the public hold physicians accountable.

Upon completing the Musculoskeletal and Nervous System I (MSNSI) Block, students should be able to:

  • Describe the anatomical features and three-dimensional spatial relationships of the spine and the upper and lower extremities, including the bone, ligament and vasculature.
  • Describe the anatomical features of the peripheral nervous system, including the motor and sensory neuron, nerve root, plexus, peripheral nerve, neuromuscular junction and muscle.
  • Describe the normal structure and function of cartilage, bone, ligaments, tendons, synovial tissue, skin and the peripheral nervous system.
  • Describe the molecular, cellular and biochemical mechanisms involved in embryonic development, fetal maturation, perinatal changes, bone mineralization, exercise and physical conditioning, repair and regeneration of the musculoskeletal system.
  • Describe the basic molecular, cellular and biochemical mechanisms involved in the healthy peripheral nervous system.
  • Describe molecular, cellular and biochemical mechanisms of pain.
  • Describe the altered structure (pathology) and function (pathophysiology) of the skin, musculoskeletal and peripheral nervous systems in inherited and acquired disease processes such as infectious, inflammatory, immune-mediated, traumatic and mechanical, neoplastic, metabolic, vascular, degenerative and idiopathic disorders.
  • Discuss radiological features of various bone and joint disorders.
  • Describe the etiology, clinical features, prevention, treatment, outcomes and, where applicable, rehabilitation related to disorders of the skin, musculoskeletal and peripheral nervous systems.
  • Discuss how age, sex, socio-economic conditions, culture, race and ethnicity influence causation and clinical expression of skin, musculoskeletal and peripheral nerve disorders and its treatment.
  • Discuss pathophysiology of pain, clinical pain syndromes and multi-disciplinary management strategies related to pain.
  • Discuss spinal cord pathways and physiology including disease mechanisms.
  • Discuss brain stem and related structures in terms of anatomy, physiology and disease process affecting them.
  • Evaluate the usefulness of a screening test, the potential benefits and harms of prevention intervention and the lead time bias and length bias and how they can affect observational data on screening tests.
  • Analyze the patient-centric and population-centric data to link and/or aggregate data acquired from various sources and/or in different formats.
  • Discuss HIPAA-related patient care issues.
  • Cooperate and collaborate with team members through verbal and non-verbal communication to document, present and discuss information in an organized, accurate, timely and understandable manner.
  • Maintain professional behavior in interacting with faculty, staff and peers.
  • Analyze, explain and discuss medical knowledge as it applies to effective patient care.