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Clinical Orthopaedic Teaching programme for Students (COTS)
  1. Prakrit Raj Kumar1,
  2. Thomas Stubley1,
  3. Yousuf Hashmi1,
  4. Usman Ahmed2
  1. 1 University of Birmingham College of Medical and Dental Sciences, Birmingham, UK
  2. 2 Department of Trauma and Orthopaedics, Princess Royal Hospital, Telford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Prakrit Raj Kumar, Medical School, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK; prk576{at}


Introduction There is a huge variation in the depth and breadth of content taught regarding orthopaedic examinations. Undergraduate students are often confused by the variability in examination teaching, therefore increasing concerns for upcoming objectively structured clinical examinations (OSCEs). Doctors, despite being expected to teach, rarely receive formal preparation, with only a handful of institutions providing necessary training. The Clinical Orthopaedic Teaching programme for Students (COTS) was designed to equip medical students with the knowledge to perform orthopaedic examinations and to synergistically provide senior students with the necessary experience for the future teaching required of them.

Methods Six fortnightly sessions were delivered, each focusing on a specific joint examination. Student and tutor recruitment were voluntary. Pre-session and post-session multiple-choice questions (MCQs) were provided to students to assess improvement in knowledge. Anonymous feedback forms were provided to both students and tutors.

Results From 61 student responses, 98.4% of students stated that COTS met the learning outcomes, with content relevant for their medical curriculum. 96.7% supported COTS’ near-peer teaching (NPT) style for OSCE preparation. Based on a five-point Likert scale, students displayed a mean improvement in confidence (1.7±1.2, p<0.001) and MCQ scores (1.3±1.2, p<0.001). All 10 tutors perceived an improvement of their teaching skills and confidence to teach (1.0±0.9, p=0.016).

Conclusion COTS shows that an NPT style can be used to effectively teach orthopaedic examinations, with benefits for students and tutors. With our aim to refine and upscale this programme, we publish our pilot study findings to encourage similar teaching programmes to be adopted at other universities.

  • EDUCATION & TRAINING (see Medical Education & Training)

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  • Contributors All authors participated equally in the research of this paper, assisting in all of the following parts: Guarantor of integrity of the entire study: all authors. Study concepts and design, literature research, clinical studies, experimental studies/data analysis, statistical analysis: PRK, TS and YH. Manuscript preparation, manuscript editing, manuscript revision: all authors.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.