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Courses for Students

Formal Medical Student Courses

Thank you for your interest in our sub-internship program at the University of Colorado Department of Orthopedic Surgery. The Department of Orthopedic Surgery conducts six formal medical student courses spread over the four-year curriculum.  

The Orthopedic Faculty also participate in the Foundations of Doctoring curriculum serving preceptors for third-year students and as facilitators for physical exam sessions. The Director of Medical Student Education is a member of the Academic Committee, which coordinates all teaching activities within the Department. The current director is a member of the SOM Curriculum Committee and the newly forming Clinical Education Working Group, which is addressing curriculum reform. 

We wanted to make you aware of a recent change in our program policy. Due to the large and growing number of applications to our program, we are no longer able to guarantee every sub-I a formal interview. Although you will have access to the faculty and residents throughout your rotation, your acceptance as a sub-I no longer means you will definitely be invited back for a formal interview. 

The courses offered by the Department are as follows:

ORTHO 6620
Introduction to Orthopedics Elective for MSI & MSII students

Course Director: Frank Scott, MD

Course Coordinator: Becky Lewis

Goal: To present the basic concepts of musculoskeletal injury and disease in order to provide a framework for further knowledge acquisition during the clinical rotations. Department budgets.

Objectives: Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to recognize common patterns of musculoskeletal injury and disease using the history, physical exam, and imaging techniques. They will be able to describe appropriate treatment options and apply basic casts and braces.

Description: The course consists of 10 weekly one-hour classroom sessions, elective reading materials, and four one-half day shadowing opportunities in the operating room and clinics. Student evaluation is pass/fail by attendance.

Faculty: Department of Orthopedics
Enrollment: 20 to 30 students. An online course evaluation is used for course improvement.


IDPT 7021
Musculoskeletal Care Clinical Block

Course Directors: Frank Scott, MD, and William Sullivan, MD

Course Coordinator: Becky Lewis

A two-week required block – includes Orthopedics, PM&R, Rheumatology, and MSK Radiology

Goal: To develop knowledge of musculoskeletal examination and clinical care.

Objectives: By the end of this rotation students will be able to:
• Perform a musculoskeletal extremity exam for the major anatomic areas – shoulder, wrist, hip, knee, and ankle.
• Interpret musculoskeletal x-rays of common fractures and degenerative conditions.
• Assess patients with overuse, degenerative, and traumatic problems and describe treatment options.
• Access pertinent information concerning musculoskeletal patient care.

Description: A clinic rotation working with residents and faculty at one of the affiliated hospitals in the OR and clinic settings. Students are given texts to use, meet one hour each week with a member of the faculty for an interactive teaching session and attend the department conferences. The students are evaluated by faculty and a short written interpretive test. Honors is available by preparing a case report if other evaluations are satisfactory.

Faculty: Departments of Orthopedics, Rheumatology, PM&R, and Radiology

Enrollment: All MSIII students are required to participate. Student grading is pass/fail due to the short rotation.


ORTHO 8000
Clinical Sub-Internship

Course Director: Frank Scott, MD

Course Coordinator: Becky Lewis

A four-week elective for MSIV students.

This course is open to all MSIV students enrolled in accredited Medical Schools with an interest in the orthopedic inpatient surgical experience at the University of Colorado. For more information on eligibility, please contact Erica Hyman in Student Affairs at or 303-724-8026. Visiting students should become familiar with the requirements set by Student Affairs prior to contact. External applications will be reviewed by course director prior to approval.

Goal: Further development of medical students with an interest in an orthopaedic surgery residency.

Objectives: By the end of this rotation students should be able to:
• Participate in the full spectrum of orthopaedic patient care.
• Determine if Orthopedics is career option suitable for them.

Description: This a four-week elective designed for the student interested in Orthopaedics or a similar surgical specialty. The student will join a resident-faculty team for two weeks at two of our affiliated hospitals. They will take call, attend conferences, and participate in all inpatient and outpatient clinical activities. Student evaluation is by faculty and includes Pass/High Pass/Honors grading.

Faculty: Department of Orthopedics

Enrollment: This has averaged 30-40 students from CU and other US medical schools per year. The course evaluation is online.


ORTHO 8001
Primary Care Orthopedics

​Course Director: Frank Scott, MD

Course Coordinator: Becky Lewis

A 4 week elective for MSIV students

Goal: Development of musculoskeletal knowledge of medical students interested in primary care or internal medicine residency.

Objectives: This is a clinical rotation tailored to the needs of the student. It does not include surgery.

Description: This elective is designed for students planning a career in one of the primary care fields who wish more in-depth experience with musculoskeletal medicine. Time is spent primarily in the outpatient clinics and at department conferences. Students are given reference texts to use during the rotation. Student evaluation is by faculty.

Faculty: Department of Orthopedics

Enrollment: Averages 15 students per year. The course evaluation is currently written.

ORTHO 8005
Sports Medicine

Course Director: Frank Scott, MD

Course Coordinator: Becky Lewis

A four-week elective for MSIV students

Goal: To present sports medicine concepts and knowledge to medical students interested orthopaedic or primary care sports medicine careers.

Description: This course provides clinical experience in all aspects of Sports Medicine including orthopedic care, primary care, operating room procedures, and sporting event coverage. Students will work in the sports medicine clinics on the University of Denver and University of Colorado campuses. They will attend department, as well as sports specific, conferences. Student evaluation is by the faculty.

Faculty: Departments of Orthopedics, Sports Medicine Faculty

Enrollment: Enrollment has averaged five students per year. This course is taken by students interested in orthopedic surgery and sports medicine. The course evaluation is written.


ORTHO 8600
Orthopedic Research

Course Director: Frank Scott, MD

Course Coordinator: Becky Lewis

A 4 to 12 week elective for MSIV students

Goal: To provide an opportunity for medical students to learn and participate in orthopedic research.

Description: This elective provides an opportunity for students to participate in basic science or clinical research projects with members of the orthopaedic faculty. Students may participate in established projects or originate their own if time and funding permits. The student is evaluated by their mentor.

Faculty: Department of Orthopedic Surgery

Enrollment: Enrollment averages about five students per year. Students must have a research mentor and research project approved prior to enrollment.