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Discipline of Orthopaedics & Trauma

Research programs of the Discipline are an interdisciplinary collaboration between those involved in clinical management, basic science, bioengineering, pathology and epidemiology.

Residing within the School of Medicine, the Discipline has campuses at five teaching hospitals, the Royal Adelaide Hospital, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the Lyell McEwin Health Service, Modbury Public Hospital and the Women's and Children's Hospital. It also has an important relationship with the OASIRS at Hampstead and valued clinical and academic partnerships with private hospitals.

The Discipline has a high profile in research and teaching, both nationally and internationally.

There are approximately 7000 orthopaedic and trauma admissions to the teaching hospitals of the Discipline each year. The numbers and casemix of patients in both the public and private hospitals attached to the Discipline offers enormous opportunities for a diverse range of clinical, translational basic science research and higher degree research.

Research expertise across the campuses covers the areas of:

  • Bone cell biology
  • Pre-clinical models and veterinary orthopaedics
  • Biomechanics
  • Tissue pathology
  • Joint replacement
  • Spine
  • Population databases
  • Advanced imaging
  • Trauma
  • Orthopaedic oncology
  • Epidemiology and clinical trials
  • Sports medicine
  • Paediatric orthopaedics

Musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions constitute a huge burden globally and are responsible for up to 25% of primary care visits: back pain, arthritis, osteoporosis and injury form the bulk of this burden. Many of the conditions are chronic and associated with ageing and so are on the continual rise.

Associate Professor Mellick Chehade is the Course Coordinator for the undergraduate musculoskeletal teaching, and is also the Director and Founder of the AMSEC (Australian Musculo Skeletal Education Collaboration) Project, which has led to national standards being adopted in the delivery of musculoskeletal teaching and positioned the University of Adelaide as one of the leading centres globally in this field.

Our centre is the first in Australia to implement the AMSEC "competency based" curriculum with a focus on principles-based practice with specific application to nationally relevant emergency and high burden conditions. This will leave our graduates much better prepared and confident to effectively manage the range of MSK conditions they can realistically expect to encounter as graduating interns and junior doctors working in the Australian health system.

The Musculoskeletal (MSK) Medicine Rotation combines the major Disciplines of Orthopaedics & Trauma, Rheumatology and Rehabilitation Medicine with support from Radiology, Pain Management and Allied Health.

Teaching is delivered via a blended learning programme using online tutorials, face to face clinical tutorials, anatomy sessions as well as supervised clinical placements on the ward, outpatient clinics and operating theatres, where students are able to apply and be assessed on their knowledge and clinical judgement.

We commence the course with a review of the basic science topics that are core to critical thinking in musculoskeletal practice:

  • Anatomy
  • Biomechanics
  • Biostatistics
  • Pathophysiology

Clinical science topics include:

  • Assistive Devices
  • Amputee and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopaedics and Trauma
  • Pain Management
  • Procedural Skills
  • Physical Examination
  • Radiology
  • Rheumatology
  • Spine and Sports Medicine

Our philosophy is that "assessment drives learning" with a strong focus on "formative-barrier" assessment.

We also believe that learning and teaching are inseparable and should be stimulating and entertaining. Small group teaching with clear learning objectives and balanced direction allow for efficiency of learning. This promotes reflective practice and facilitates the independent critical thinking required for ongoing advanced clinical reasoning, life-long learning and mastery.

Head of Discipline

Discipline Staff

Professional Staff

Clinical Titleholders

A title within the School of Medicine is an important role in supporting the School’s Learning & Teaching activities. Find a list of titleholders from the Discipline on the Clinical Titleholders page.

Find contact details for the four campuses of the Discipline below.

Royal Adelaide Hospital
Level 4
Bice Building
The University of Adelaide

Telephone: +61 8 8222 5535
Facsimile: +61 8 8232 3065

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Woodville Road
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Telephone: +61 8 8222 6099
Facsimile: +61 8 8222 7068

Lyell McEwin Hospital
Lyell McEwin Health Services
Haydown Road
Elizabeth Vale

Telephone: +61 8 8182 9000
Facsimile: +61 8 8182 9192

Modbury Hospital
Level 6
Smart Road

Telephone: +61 8 8161 2000

Womens and Children's Hospital
72 King William Road
North Adelaide

Telephone: +61 8 8161 7223
Facsimile: +61 8 8161 7057

Adelaide Medical School

Level 3
Medical School South
The University of Adelaide


T: +61 8 8313 8163

Student Enquiries

Ask Adelaide
Website and Email
T: +61 8 8313 5208

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