Diagnostic Imaging for MSK Disorders in Primary Care

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Course Description

This non-credit course focuses on the safe and appropriate usage of diagnostic imaging for the management of common musculoskeletal conditions seen in primary care settings.  More specifically, this course will provide the knowledge and clinical decision-making skills required to effectively utilize conventional radiography, CT Scan, MRI and Diagnostic ultrasound. Emphasis is placed on using clinical practice guidelines to make appropriate, timely and judicious referrals for diagnostic imaging and how to use the Radiologist’s report to make appropriate patient care decisions. This course does not focus on the interpretation and reading of images.

The course includes three self-paced online modules. Each module is six weeks in length. Module 1 is a prerequisite for modules 2 and 3.


Course Modules

DI for MSK Disorders in Primary Care I - Basic Principles and Clinical Decision Making

This module describes the physical principles, safety, limitations and potential benefits of conventional radiographs, CT scan, magnetic resonance imaging and diagnostic ultrasound. It also presents a clinical decision making framework that incorporates the use of evidence based point-of-care decision making tools when considering if imaging is indicated. Prerequisites - None  

DI for MSK Disorders in Primary Care II - Imaging of the Lumbar Spine and Lower Extremity

This module focuses on the clinical decision making skills to make appropriate referrals and utilization diagnostic imaging for musculoskeletal disorders of the lumbar spine, hip, knee, ankle and foot. It discusses how to determine if imaging is indicated and how to select the most appropriate imaging modality when imaging is indicated. It also touches upon the information required to make a clear referral including the type of diagnostic imaging, the views requested, the reason for the imaging, and any other relevant clinical information. Prerequisites - Part 1

Diagnostic Imaging for MSK Disorders in Primary Care III - Imaging of the Cervical Spine and Upper Extremity

This module focuses on the clinical decision-making skills to make appropriate referrals and utilization diagnostic imaging for musculoskeletal disorders of the cervical spine, shoulder, elbow, wrist and the hand. It discusses how to determine if imaging is indicated and how to select the most appropriate imaging modality when imaging is indicated. It also touches upon the information required to make a clear referral including the type of diagnostic imaging, the views requested, the reason for the imaging, and any other relevant clinical information. Prerequisites - Part 2

Upon successful completion of each module participants will be issued a faculty digital certificate noting the number of educational hours.

Course Offerings
DI in Primary Care I - April 26 - June 5, 2022
DI in Primary Care II - February 28 -  April 10, 2022
DI in Primary Care III - June 26, 2022
Assessment
There are no grades for this course. Instead, students receive a complete or incomplete score based on satisfactory completion of the course.  To successfully complete the course students are required to work through all learning activities and achieve 60% on all the knowledge check quizzes at the end of each module. Students are given unlimited quiz attempts and can challenge these at any time throughout the course.
Learning Objectives

By the end of this course clinician's will:

  1. Understand the use of diagnostic imaging for common musculoskeletal conditions 
  2. Understand the physics, principles, risks, and benefits of diagnostic imaging 
  3. Make judicious and evidence-informed decisions on when to use imaging
  4. Select the most appropriate imaging modality for the clinical situation
  5. Understand how to consult and make a referral to a radiologist
  6. Use the radiology report findings to make appropriate patient care decisions
  7. Know their professional responsibilities when referring and acting upon the results of imaging studies.
Format

When are the class times?

Each module includes four learning modules delivered asynchronously over a six week time frame. There are no set class times so students have the ability to work through the learning modules at their own time, location and pace. The modules are set-up to be completed on a weekly basis but students may complete the course anytime within the six week timeframe. 


How much time commitment is required?

The amount of time you will need to spend may vary depending on your prior knowledge of diagnostic imaging. Regardless, students need to determine for themselves the appropriate amount of time to spend on course materials. The traditional view is that for every one hour of “in-class” time, students need to spend between 1-3 hours on “out of class” work. If this were a face-to-face course, students would meet face-to-face for 3 hours per week over 6 weeks. Adding the 1-3 hours of “out of class time”, we anticipate that students should be spending a minimum of between 6-12 hours per week on this course. 


How is the course set-up so I know what is expected? 

The course has been set-up so you know what is required each week. The posted content includes a weekly self-study guide, online lectures or learning activities and a knowledge check.  Students can work through these materials at their own time and pace but are fully responsible for keeping up and meeting all the evaluation requirements.

Course Facilitator
Iain Muir. Associate Teaching Professor, Faculty of Rehabilitation - Physical Therapy
Recognition
Upon successful completion of each module participants will be issued a faculty digital certificate noting the number of educational hours.
How to Apply
  • DI in Primary Care I applicants please begin the process by completing a brief dept consent form  Application Form Dept Consent once submitted you will be contacted by email and provided with instructions on how to register and pay for your course through UofA Beartracks.

  • Course registration for DI in Primary Care II, and III is now through the UofA  beartracks (Faculty of Extension) system.  Registrants will be issued UofA CCIDs, receive a UofA transcript upon course completion and will be eligible to claim a digital badge for course completion. Please view the attached PDF instructions on how to register via beartracks.  If you have questions please contact sdrefs@ualberta.ca 
Fee Payment
Fee payment is through the UofA beartracks system and will be charged once you register for the course through beartracks.