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A global perspective on the challenges and opportunities in learning about rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases in undergraduate medical education: White paper by the World Forum on Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases (WFRMD)

Lookup NU author(s): Emerita Professor Helen Foster


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© 2019, The Author(s). Rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs) encompass a spectrum of degenerative, inflammatory conditions predominantly affecting the joints. They are a leading cause of disability worldwide and an enormous socioeconomic burden. However, worldwide deficiencies in adult and paediatric RMD knowledge among medical school graduates and primary care physicians (PCPs) persist. In October 2017, the World Forum on Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases (WFRMD), an international think tank of RMD and related experts, met to discuss key challenges and opportunities in undergraduate RMD education. Topics included needs analysis, curriculum content, interprofessional education, teaching and learning methods, implementation, assessment and course evaluation and professional formation/career development, which formed a framework for this white paper. We highlight a need for all medical graduates to attain a basic level of RMD knowledge and competency to enable them to confidently diagnose, treat/manage or refer patients. The importance of attracting more medical students to a career in rheumatology, and the indisputable value of integrated, multidisciplinary and multiprofessional care are also discussed. We conclude that RMD teaching for the future will need to address what is being taught, but also where, why and to whom, to ensure that healthcare providers deliver the best patient care possible in their local setting.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Al Maini M, Al Weshahi Y, Foster HE, Chehade MJ, Gabriel SE, Saleh JA, Al Wahshi H, Bijlsma JWJ, Cutolo M, Lakhanpal S, Venkatramana M, Pineda C, Woolf AD

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Clinical Rheumatology

Year: 2020

Volume: 39

Pages: 627-642

Print publication date: 01/03/2020

Online publication date: 24/05/2019

Acceptance date: 01/04/2019

ISSN (print): 0770-3198

ISSN (electronic): 1434-9949

Publisher: Springer London


DOI: 10.1007/s10067-019-04544-y

PubMed id: 31127461