Musculoskeletal conditions account for over 14 per cent of general practice encounters and are the third most common reason for presentation, representing a major part of everyday GP work. The Professional Certificate of Musculoskeletal & Sports Medicine equips medical practitioners with the skills to diagnose and manage patients with musculoskeletal conditions and sports injuries in the primary care setting.
The online certificate course will enable you to diagnose musculoskeletal pains and their underlying causes, including joint pain, rheumatoid arthritis, sports injuries, neck injuries, lower limb and gait problems, and back pain – significantly improving outcomes for your patients with conditions commonly seen in general practice.
The course also covers ongoing GP management of these conditions, including how to assess and minimise risk of cervical spinal cord or nerve root damage, how to judge when to refer a patient onwards, and how to work collaboratively with specialists and physiotherapists.
This course is the first stage of the three-part Professional Diploma of Musculoskeletal & Sports Medicine.
Entry Requirements and Course Requisites
The Professional Certificate of Musculoskeletal & Sports Medicine is for degree-qualified medical professionals who wish to learn how to improve patient outcomes, especially those patients with musculoskeletal conditions commonly seen in general practice. This qualification is the first stage of the Professional Diploma of Musculoskeletal & Sports Medicine.
This course is for physicians and degree-qualified medical professionals. There are no prerequisites. Participants do not have to pass an IELTS test but, as the courses are delivered in English, proficiency in listening, reading and writing English is assumed.
Participants will require access to a computer/laptop, an internet connection and a basic level of technology proficiency to access and navigate the online learning portal.
Professionally recognized qualifications and prior studies may be recognized for entry into this course if the learning outcomes match exactly. Please ask a HealthCert Education Advisor for an individual assessment of your prior qualifications and experience.
- Musculoskeletal pain
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Neck injuries in sport
- GP cases: acute musculoskeletal and sports
- Physical and biomechanical assessment of lower limb and gait problems
- Degenerative joint diseases
- Low back pain
- GP cases: recurrent musculoskeletal and sports injuries
Course Participants Will:
- Have the opportunity to replay video lectures from medical experts.
- Participate in discussion of patient cases, evaluate and make decisions.
- Receive access to research/readings in the field.
- Participate in course webinars prior to the examinations and ask questions.
- Receive ongoing support post-course through webinars and case review.
- Receive unlimited and ongoing access to free alumni learning resources, video lectures, and discussion forums, as well as invite-only events and special offers after completion of the course.
Module 1: Musculoskeletal Pain
This module focuses on the different types of musculoskeletal pain and their underlying causes. It discusses in detail the pathophysiology of muscular deficiencies commonly seen in general practice, such as muscular overload, muscle pairing imbalance and joint instability. The module then covers the types of treatment and exercise to be applied to these deficiencies. Various images and case studies are presented throughout the module to assist with learning.
Module 2: Rheumatoid Arthritis
This module focuses on the steps used to initiate a diagnosis in patients with acutely painful joints and briefly introduces the causes and complications of polyarthritis. It outlines the differential diagnosis based on history taking, examinations and investigations. The module explains the epidemiology, aetiology, pathophysiology, natural history and diagnostic criteria of rheumatoid arthritis. The module concludes with the examination, investigations, diagnosis, and management of rheumatoid arthritis. Various images and statistics are used throughout the module.
Module 3: Neck Injuries in Sport
This module focuses on the initial diagnosis and GP management of sport-related neck injuries. It outlines the neck anatomy and common causes of neck injuries in sport. The module then outlines the step-by-step diagnostic process to exclude the possibility of an unstable cervical spine injury that could lead to spinal cord compression and neurological compromise. This involves a combination of history taking, physical findings and, when required, imaging studies. The module also discusses the treatment and management of neck injuries in emergency and uncomplicated situations. The module concludes with the management of neck injuries in special situations including neck injuries in children, arthritic spine, ageing spine and soft tissue injuries with blunt injuries.
Module 4: GP Cases: Acute Musculoskeletal and Sports
This module introduces the definition of musculoskeletal injuries and outlines the role and importance of GP involvement in managing these injuries. The module then outlines the different classifications and management of injuries including soft-tissue injuries and closed injuries. It also discusses the principles to improve and optimise the healing of such injuries. The module then focuses on the diagnosis and management of common musculoskeletal injuries including ankle sprains, syndesmosis injuries, MCL injuries, hamstring tears, groin strains and adhesive capsulitis. The module finishes with the diagnosis and symptoms of concussion and ways to manage them.
Module 5: Physical and Biomechanical Assessment of Lower Limb and Gait Problems
This module begins with an introduction to the principles and fundamentals of biomechanical assessments. The module outlines the terminology and assessment tips of a normal gait and briefly discusses its movement, forces and pressures. It also discusses the terminology and clinical symptoms of antalgic/abnormal gait of the hip, knee, ankle and foot. The module then discusses the biomechanical assessments of the lower limb including non-clinical gait tests, altered/additional gait tests, ankle D/F lunge tests and other quick tests. The management and therapeutic intervention of the lower limbs is outlined. The module concludes with when and whom to refer patients to. Various images are presented throughout the module.
Module 6: Degenerative Joint Diseases
This module focuses on planning an assessment of patients with chronic joint pain and degenerative joint disease. It begins with an introduction and overview of arthritis and a discussion on the differential diagnoses of degenerative joint and inflammatory joint disease. The module then explains the epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical features, and diagnosis of osteoarthritis (OA). Overarching principles of OA management is discussed including OA management of the hip, knee and hand. The module concludes with the management of cervical and lumbar spondylosis.
Module 7: Low Back Pain
This module focuses on the initial diagnoses and management of low back pain including GP assessment for Cauda equina or spinal nerve root damage. It outlines the epidemiology, definitions, anatomy and physiology of low back pain. The module outlines red flags that require urgent intervention. Patients that need investigations through relevant lab tests are discussed in this module. Different imaging modalities including X rays, CT scans, MRI, bone scans and Nerve Conduction Studies are outlined depending on the symptoms. The module concludes with the management of non-specific low back pain and the role of surgery in managing these conditions. Images and videos are presented throughout the module.
Module 8: GP Cases: Recurrent Musculoskeletal and Sports Injuries
This module focuses on assessing patients with sports injuries and chronic musculoskeletal conditions including establishing a management plan with other health professionals. It outlines the differential diagnosis, prevention, management and long-term rehabilitation of plantar fasciitis and chronic ankle instability. In this module, the aetiology, risk factors, presentation, differential diagnosis, examination, imaging and management of Achilles tendinopathy, shin splints, patellar tendinopathy, Osgood-Schlatter’s disease, Carpal Tunnel syndrome, Ilio-tibial band friction syndrome and rotator cuff tendinitis are discussed in detail. The module concludes with the diagnosis and management of elbow epicondylitis and lumbar facet joint syndrome.
The Professional Certificate of Musculoskeletal & Sports Medicine is fully delivered online. Participants can enjoy the flexibility to study at their own pace, in their own time, within their home or office, and on their favourite mobile device. The modules are set up in such a way that participants are not required to be online at specific times but can view and replay the video lectures at their convenience.
The webinars offer the opportunity to join and interact with the presenters online in real-time but can also be viewed later. There are no face-to-face requirements for exams which can be conveniently completed online within three months of the exam opening date. With no travel, accommodation or out-of-office expenses incurred, participants can build critical skills and tailor their career while working in a busy practice or raising a family.
There are eight units in a HealthCert Professional Certificate program. The course is delivered over 15 weeks with 12 weeks of teaching followed by three weeks for revision and final examinations. The course includes online presentations from experts in the field followed by patient case discussions and decision-making. There is a final webinar prior to examinations. You will also receive valuable 12 months' web-based support from the speakers and participate in regular online learning sessions with the opportunity to ask any questions you might have as you implement your learning.
The Course Includes:
- All presentation slides available for download.
- Access to additional learning resources, reference materials and video lectures.
- Readings with references to peer-reviewed journal articles to keep up-to-date with developments in the field.
In order to meet the requirements of professional and academic learning, the course assessment includes a professional requirement and two online examinations.
- Develop a report/explanation of how the learning from this course will help you with your professional development
- 88 knowledge questions based on a scenario of a medical practitioner undertaking special interest training.
- 11 per module. Example: The medical practitioner believes that 10% of the population … Is he correct? Yes/No
- 88 authentic scenario based questions based on cases of patient care at a clinic
- 11 per module, Example: A patient arrives at your clinic with this problem … What should you do? Multiple choice images based on patient. cases.
The knowledge-based examination is worth 50 per cent and the application-based examination is worth 50 per cent. The overall pass mark is 80 per cent. It is therefore not possible to pass this course on knowledge alone. Knowledge must be successfully applied to patient cases in order to pass the course.
HealthCert recommends completion of the assessment at your convenience within three months of the completion of the course (or enrolling in the online course).
Certification and Accreditation
Upon successful completion of the exam, course participants will receive a Professional Certificate of Musculoskeletal & Sports Medicine.
Face to Face Courses
Course transfers for Face to Face practical workshops are available, subject to requests being received, in writing, a minimum of 10 business days prior to workshop commencement. Transfer requests received after 10 business days prior to workshop commencement will incur an Administration Fee of $250.
Transfers will be subject to availability in the future workshops. If the future workshop has a cost differential, that price will apply, and any additional charges will be payable at the time of the transfer request.
One workshop transfer, per course is allowed. Further transfers will be considered upon application and may be charged at 25% of a full new workshop booking rate.
Transfers for Online courses are available subject to requests being received, in writing, within 7 days of enrolment. Transfer requests received after the 7 days post enrolment will incur an Administration Fee of $200. One course transfer request, per course is allowed.
If the future course being transferred to, has a cost differential, that price will apply, and any additional charges will be payable at the time of the course transfer request.
Online Cancellations and Refunds
Cancellation and a full refund of the course fees will be provided if a request is received, in writing, a maximum of 7 days after course enrolment. Refund requests received later than 7 days after course enrolment will incur an Administration Fee of $250. Upon cancellation and full refund of the course enrolment, you will not receive a certificate or accreditation points.
Courses purchased as part of a bundle attract a discount. This discount is apportioned to the final course in the bundle in the cases of cancellations and refunds. Therefore, cancellation and refund requests of a course that have been purchased as part of a bundle are refunded based on the first and/or second course being charged at the full price rate. Any courses remaining in the bundle can be refunded provided the request is received, in writing, a maximum of 7 days after course enrolment. Refund requests received later than 7 days after course enrolment will incur an Administration Fee of $250.
Online Modules and Assessment
8 Online Modules
Dr. David Pugh
Senior Lecturer, Exercise Physiology, School of Sport and Health Sciences, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Wales
Dr David Pugh is a Senior Lecturer in Exercise Physiology within the School of Sport and Health Sciences at Cardiff Metropolitan University, Wales. His global research agenda focuses on how regular exercise and physical activity can effectively prevent and treat cardiovascular and metabolic diseases across the lifespan.
Mr. Ronnie Bateman
Bachelor of Physiotherapy Bachelor of Podiatry Masters of Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy
Ronnie Bateman attained his professional qualifications from LaTrobe University, Melbourne. In 1995, he graduated with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy and returned to study a Bachelor of Podiatry and a Masters of Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy.
Mr Bateman has worked in several sectors including elite sport, aged care and disability, occupational, public health, and private practice.
As a clinician, he promotes treatment pragmatism, and concedes that there are exceptions to most supported clinical and research-based beliefs.
As a podiatrist, he enjoys the challenge of complex foot/ankle conditions, in addition to assisting more proximal pathologies (such as knee pain) by altering distal biomechanics. Podiatric interventions he adopts can include one or more of the following: shoe alterations, insole alterations, over-the-counter orthotics, hand-made insoles/orthotics, strapping, padding, and off-loading. He continues to make devices from casting to fitting where necessary.
As a physiotherapist, Mr Bateman will consider evidence-based research and “old-school” manual therapy options in an attempt to make maximum improvement in the shortest timeframe.
As a lower-limb musculoskeletal practitioner, he can apply top-down (physiotherapy based) and bottom-up (podiatry based) approaches.
Principles and philosophies supported include:
- Mechanical problems have mechanical solutions.
- Maximal healing occurs in an environment of minimal symptoms.
- Rather than “no pain, no gain”, the preference is “more brain, less brawn”.
- Like bread, chronic soft-tissue scar invariably does well with a knead.
- “Trial and error” in musculoskeletal therapy is valuable if risks are understood and mitigated. Results-based therapy is about assessing, intervening with low-risk and re-assessing effect.
- The positive effect of braces in the acute phase are generally underrated and are invariably dispensed with too soon.
Dr. Huddy Fuller
Dr. Anoop Jalota
Dr Anoop Jalota is a general practitioner who has special interests in emergency procedures and musculoskeletal medicine. He is passionate about helping patients to quit smoking and manage their weight. Dr Jalota is currently a cluster leader for Central Illawarra and has a passion for continued learning and mentoring.
Dr. Alice Lam
Dr Alice Lam is a general practitioner interested in evidence-based medicine and education for medical professionals and their patients. Dr Lam has 23 years of medical experience in Australia and overseas.
Dr Lam graduated from the University of Manchester, UK, in 1998, following which she practised both as a locum and partner. Since 2008 she now works as a GP in Melbourne, Australia. Her passions include evidence-based medicine, and education for health professionals and patients.
She is a member of the Australian Society for Psychological Medicine, The Australasian Medical Writers Association and also sits on the Editorial Committee for Hepatitis Australia. You can find out more about Dr Lam on her website www.dralicelam.com.
“Atrial fibrillation is likely to be significantly underdiagnosed, despite being independently associated with stroke, heart failure and all-cause mortality. GPs are in an enviable position where we can screen, treat and avoid serious complications in our patients.”
A/Prof. Norman Eizenberg
MBBS, FRACS (Hon.) Clinical Academic Lead (Back to Base Days) Melbourne Clinical School, The University of Notre Dame Honorary Principal Fellow, Department of Anatomy & Neuroscience, The University of Melbourne
A/Prof Norman Eizenberg has taught anatomy to medical students (at Melbourne and Monash Universities) and surgical trainees for more than 40 years. His main areas of research and scholarship are in medical education (including student learning of anatomy) and in anatomical variations (including their surgical implications). He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship Degree (in 2016) by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in recognition of “significant work in anatomy and of contributions to the College” and is currently Anatomy Specialty Editor for the ANZ Journal of Surgery.
A/Prof Eizenberg’s biggest role is project leader of a comprehensive, interactive learning platform exploring anatomy from multiple perspectives. So far, ANATOMEDIA has received four national or international awards, including the Australian Publishers Association "Best teaching & learning package in tertiary education" (in 2008). Norman keeps his hand in clinical practice after-hours as a GP. He was a Victorian Australian of the Year Finalist (in 2014) for “outstanding contribution: anatomist, doctor and educationalist”.