Research: How Much Does The Run-Of-The-Mill Medical Student Know About Treating Musculoskeletal Issues?

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015
Medical Student and musculoskeletal Issues

Before I get into this paper, I want to share a story of my own that just happened recently.

I went to the emergency room just this last Sunday, 9/21/14. I had diagnosed myself with three different issues. I had a pretty good idea of what was going on but I decided to go just as a precaution. I’m getting to that age where the ticker can get funny on some guys so I wanted to play it safe and make sure it wasn’t getting funny on ME! Turns out I’m good to go….no worries.

Anyway, I told the ER doc that I felt like I had a bulged/herniated disc. He pushed down on my head to test but that was really about all that he did. Our disc testing and classification is leaps and bounds more advanced than theirs! We have five different tests for a disc in the cervical spine. Then he was honest enough to say, “You’d probably know better than me if it’s a disc.”

I thought that was great to get a little credit from the medical field. He was good and very thorough. I’m not trying to disrespect him here. I think he was very competent on what he has been taught.

But, according to research, he is 100% correct.

This study appeared in the J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2005 Feb;87(2):310-4 and authored by Matzk, et. al.

A basic understanding of the musculoskeletal system is considered to be essential when practicing medicine. It made sense to the authors to survey a portion of the healthcare practitioners try to assess the level of understanding of the musculoskeletal system.

How Did They Do It?

  • An exam was issued to 334 volunteers
  • The volunteers had to be medical students, residents, and/or staff physicians.

What Did They Find?

The average score was a 57%

  • 69 of the 334 (21%) scored a 73.1 or higher
  • Of the 69 people that scored a 73.1 or higher, 58% of those were orthopedic residents and staff physicians.

Wrap Up

  • 79% of the participants failed the basic musculoskeletal cognitive examination suggesting that training in the realm of the musculoskeletal system is woefully inadequate in medical school as well as nonorthopaedic residency programs.

Just another reason to call a chiropractor TODAY!

Research and clinical experience shows that, in about 80%-90% of headaches, neck, and back pain, in comparison to the traditional medical model, patients get good or excellent results with Chiropractic . Chiropractic care is safe, more cost-effective, it decreases your chances of having surgery, and it reduces your chances of becoming disabled. We do this conservatively and non-surgically. In addition, we can do it with minimal time requirements and minimal hassle on the part of the patient. And, if the patient develops a “preventative” mindset going forward from initial recovery, we can likely keep it that way while raising your general, overall level of health!

Please feel free to leave a comment and tell me your thoughts. I’d love to hear what you think.

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Till next time……

The Amarillo Chiropractor Blog is written by Dr. Jeff Williams.

Amarillo TX Amarillo Pain & Accident Chiropractic Clinic provides customized chiropractic care to the Amarillo, Canyon, Pampa, Happy, White Deer, Dumas, Groom, Conway, Panhandle, Claude, Clarendon, Borger, Tulia, Hereford, Fritch, Bushland, and Vega communities. Visit our main website at for customized Chiropractic in Amarillo TX.

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by Jeff S. Williams, D.C.
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