Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Joint Diploma in Musculoskeletal Examination and Injury Management


The course is run jointly by the ICGP and the FSEM.

Musculoskeletal problems constitute a substantial ever growing burden on society, on the medical services and all personnel dealing with these conditions. Bone and joint disorders account for more than half of all chronic conditions in people over 50 years and the most common cause of severe, long-term pain and disability. In Ireland, the average GP practice consists of almost 20% musculoskeletal problems.

With this in mind a diploma course in musculoskeletal care, that is driven by learning outcomes and with a huge emphasis on practice skills, is being offered to meet general practice needs in the future.

Learning outcomes

On completion of each learning module, the learner should be able to:

- List the incidence/prevalence of musculoskeletal injuries
- Recognise their presentations
- Be aware of 'red flags'
- Demonstrate musculoskeletal examination
- Outline the relevant diagnostic test
- Outline management plans for common conditions
- List/describe relevant referral options
- Describe rehabilitation options for common conditions
- Be aware of personal implications of this disability

Who can apply?

This course is open to all registered Medical Practitioners and GP Trainees.

What is the overall aim of the course?

This course aims to deepen the GP's understanding of MSK soft tissue dysfunction as it presents in the surgery. It also aims to further prepare the GP in recognising, assessing and managing these disorders. The central role of clinical joint examination is central to the course.

Course content

The course will divided into 11 modules - an introductory module followed by 10 modules focusing on specific regions.

- Module 1 - Introduction to MSK Examination and Injury Management
- Module 2 - The Shoulder joint
- Module 3 - Shoulder Girdle
- Module 4 - Elbow & Forearm
- Module 5 - Cervical Spine
- Module 6 - Thoracic Spine
- Module 7 - Wrist and Hand
- Module 8 - Lumbar Spine
- Module 9 - Hip, Groin and Pelvis Problems
- Module 10 - Knee
- Module 11 - Lower Leg including the ankle and shin  

Compulsory workshops

There will be four two-day practical workshops. Each weekend will be separated by a number of modules in set. The main focus of the workshops will be practical education in joint examination.

The workshops will also include a small group discussion on the review of literature of either a diagnostic option or rehabilitation treatment.

What does the assessment consist of?

Assessment is carried out by way of practical examination. At the beginning of each workshop (excluding the 1st), participants will be examined on topics studied at previous workshop.

The final workshop will begin with a final practical examination carried out by an external examiner on any aspect of the course studied.

Course Principal: Dr John O'Riordan, FFSEM and past FSEM Honorary Secretary

Course Tutors:

Dr Michael Griffin, FFSEM 

Dr Laoise Griffin, MFSEM 

Dr L. Joe Conway, FFSEM and past FSEM Vice-Dean

If you have any queries in relation to the Diploma, please contact Ms Yvette Dalton or Ms Jana Pickard in the ICGP.

E-mail: and or visit the ICGP website

Various photos from past modules / workshops 

FSEM / ICGP Diploma - John O'Riordan & Bill Cuddihy

Left to right: Dr John O'Riordan, Course Principal, and Dr Bill Cuddihy, FSEM Board Member

FSEM & ICGP MSK Diploma - John O'Riordan and Bill Cuddihy

Demonstration of an MSK Examination by Dr John O'Riordan (doctor) and Dr Bill Cuddihy (patient)

Dr John O'Riordan - MSK Diploma

Dr John O'Riordan, Course Principal

MSK Diploma Tutors - Dr Michael Griffin & Dr Joe Conway

Left to right: Dr John O'Riordan, Course Principal, Dr Michael Griffin and Dr Joe Conway (Course Tutors)

MSK Examination - Dr Michael Griffin and Dr Joe Conway

Left to right: Dr Michael Griffin and Dr Joe Conway, Course Tutors

Dr Michael Griffin and MSK workshop participants

Left to right: Dr Michael Griffin and MSK workshop participants