Learn more about the Institute for Orthopedic Education

About the Institute for Orthopedic Education

Teaching and education have been at the core of Mass General’s mission since its founding more than 200 years ago. The teaching mission aims to educate the next generation of healthcare professionals and ensure that the current health care workforce has the knowledge, clinical skills and technical skills necessary to advance patient care. 

With these teaching goals in mind, in 2021 the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery discussed strategies to promote and deliver excellence in teaching to provide a stairway for ongling education to all levels of staff. These plans have come to fruition with our announcement of the Institute for Orthoapedic Education under the direction of Anne Fiore, DNP, CNP

The Institute will offer orthopedic programs to our employees and other healthcare professionals. We will create a culture of teaching and promote teaching excellence through a variety of venues, including Dr. Gus Mazzocca's simulation lab (ENABL), CME courses, conferences and online/on-demand programs covering a variety of MSK essentials and concepts to improve how clinicians teach (i.e. feedback, evaluation, precepting). 

The Institute's first certificate program within the MSK Essentials series is Orthopedics & Sports Medicine

Overview of the MSK Essentials Program

logo for the Institute for Orthopaedic Education

Dive into a transformative journey that equips clinicians with specialized knowledge and skills to prevent, evaluate and manage musculoskeletal conditions across the lifespan.

Musculoskeletal issues are prevalent, with 15-30% of primary care visits and 20% of emergency room visits in the USA attributed to these conditions. They are also a leading cause of long-term disability, highlighting the critical need for effective management and treatment.

Our comprehensive program offers a holistic approach to musculoskeletal health and orthopedic to bridge the gap in medical training and address unmet educational needs.

The MSK Essentials: Orthopedic & Sports Medicine certificate program will run September 9, 2024 - May 26, 2025.

Why choose us?

  • Learn from experienced faculty members renowned in the field of musculoskeletal health and orthopedics.
  • Rigorous curriculum designed to meet the evolving needs of healthcare professionals.
  • Flexible online format allows you to balance your education with your professional commitments.
  • Engage in hands-on workshops and interactive discussions for practical, real-world insights.
  • Join a supportive community of clinicians dedicated to advancing musculoskeletal care.


Graduate of an accredited APRN or PA program.

However, if currently enrolled in an NP or PA program, the participant must have completed an Advanced Health Assessment course in order to be eligble.

Program outcomes & learning objectives

  • Prepare the graduate to work in a wide variety of settings, from primary care, to orthopedic and sports medicine in and outpatient settings.
  • Learn advanced assessment of the musculoskeletal system, including special tests.
  • Prepare clinicians to diagnose a variety of musculoskeletal conditions and injuries across the life span.
  • Prepare clinicians to manage a variety of musculoskeletal conditions and injuries across the life span.
  • Prepare clinicians to provide health maintenance and prevention of injuries and conditions of the musculoskeletal system.
  • Educate the clinician to perform skills necessary for clinical practice in orthopedics and sports medicine, such as splinting and casting, joint and bursal injections and aspirations, suturing and reduction of dislocations and fractures.
  • Identify practice models for advanced practice clinicians within orthopedics and sports medicine.

Components of the certificate program

Discussion board

Purpose: To assist students in mastering orthopedic and sports medicine concepts, and to provide feedback on performance in mastery.

Assignment Guidelines: Discussion prompts will be posed each week that there is no exam. You should enter the discussion a minimum of 2 days each week. Post one initial and individual response to the discussion per module. Try to respond to different individuals during the course. You must comment about what you found surprising, new, provocative, confusing, etc. It is not sufficient to say "good job" or "interesting" without further explanation. The initial post is due Wednesday and the response is due by Friday.

Illustrate your point with examples and relate personal experiences. Link to articles and your resources that support the information you put forth. Be concise and develop your idea in 200 words or less.

Weekly case study calls

Case studies will be posted each week that there is no exam. Provide your response to the prompts in the case study and support your work with citations. References should be in APA format and robust. Provide links to articles and resources that support your work. Case study responses should be between 200 and 800 words.

One-day onsite workshop

Students will come together in Boston for a one-day enriching onsite workshop, where students will immerse themselves in a dynamic event featuring renowned clinicians in orthopedics and sports medicine. This hands-on experience offers attendees the chance to refine their expertise in physical examination techniques, advanced diagnostics, casting, splinting and the administration of joint and bursal injections and aspirations.

image of the Boston skyline

Program pathway

CMEs will be awarded.

September 9, 2024 - May 26, 2025

Musculoskeletal Essentials I

  • Online Format
  • Lay the foundation with this introductory course, designed to prepare clinicians to evaluate and manage acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions. Gain expertise in outpatient, inpatient, and operative care to enhance patient outcomes.
  • Faculty: Karen M. Myrick, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, ONP-C, FAAN

Musculoskeletal Essentials II

  • Online Format
  • Build on Essentials I and elevate your skills with specialized knowledge to prevent, evaluate, and manage musculoskeletal conditions. Master advanced assessment techniques and health maintenance strategies.
  • Pre-requisites: Musculoskeletal Essentials I
  • Faculty: Karen M. Myrick, DNP, APRN, ANP-BC, FNP-BC, ONP-BC, FAAN

Musculoskeletal Essentials III

  • Online Format
  • Take your expertise to the next level in this culminating course, focusing on advanced skills such as casting, splinting, suturing, and joint injections. Refine your practice models and collaborative approaches for improved patient outcomes.
  • Pre-requisites: Musculoskeletal Essentials II
  • Faculty: Karen M. Myrick, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, ONP-C, FAAN


Option 1:
Pay in Full $17,500 – 10% discount

Option 2:
1st Payment $8,750 Due By – September 2, 2024
2nd Payment $8,750 Due By – December 9, 2024

Please contact InstituteForOrthoEducation@mgh.harvard.edu if you need assistance with a payment plan.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellation Policy (prior to course start date):
A refund minus a $100.00 administrative fee will be issued for refund requests received by September 9, 2024.

Below is the refund schedule for FULL TERMS once the program begins:

  1. Week one of a semester - 100% (9/9-9/15) minus a $100.00 administrative fee
  2. Week two of a semester - 80% (9/16 – 9/22)
  3. Week three of a semester - 60% (9/23 – 9/29)
  4. Week four of a semester - 40% (9/30 – 10/06)
  5. Week five of a semester - 20% (10/07 – 10/13)
  6. After week five - NO REFUNDS (10/14 – 10/20)

There are no exceptions to these policies.

All requests must be made in writing prior to the end of the week of cancellation. Please contact InstituteForOrthoEducation@mgh.harvard.edu for any questions.

Application process:

  • This is a 38-week specialty certificate program.
  • Requirements for admission include graduation from, or current enrollment in an NP or PA program.
  • If currently enrolled in an AGNP, FNP or PA program, you must have completed Advanced Physical Assessment, Advanced Pharmacology and Advanced Pathophysiology prior to the fall start date. Transcripts need to be uploaded for review.
  • There are no clinical hours included with this certificate.
  • Two letters of recommendation and a personal statement that describes your motivation to complete the program and your professional aspirations with the specialty certificate are required.
  • Note: Applications will not be accepted after September 13, 2024.

Ready to advance your career?

Apply today and embark on your journey to becoming a certified expert in musculoskeletal health and orthopedics.

In order to apply, please email the Progam Manager, Karen Myrick, DNP (InstituteForOrthoEducation@mgh.harvard.edu), with the following information:

  • Have you graduated from an AGNP, FNP or PA program?
  • If not, are you currently enrolled in an AGNP, RNP or PA program and have completed pharmacology, health assessment and pathophysiology?
  • Do you understand that this program is remote/online with a one-day onsite workshop in Boston?

Target audience

The target audience for a specialty certificate in orthopedics and sports medicine for advanced practice providers (NPs and PAs) includes individuals who possess a strong interest and commitment to advancing their skills and knowledge in the specialized areas of orthopedics and sports medicine.

  • Advanced Practice Providers (NPs and PAs): The primary audience consists of Nurse Practitioners (NPs) and Physician Assistants (PAs) who have already completed their basic training or are in an NP or PA program and are actively practicing in the field of healthcare. They are looking to further specialize in orthopedics and sports medicine to enhance their clinical expertise and provide more comprehensive care to their patients.
  • Healthcare Professionals Seeking Specialization: This certificate program would attract NPs and PAs who are passionate about orthopedic and sports medicine and are seeking opportunities to specialize in these areas. They may already be working in orthopedic clinics, sports medicine practices, primary care settings, or other relevant healthcare environments.
  • Career Advancers: Individuals who aim to advance their careers in orthopedics and sports medicine would be drawn to this certificate program. They may see it as a pathway to career advancement, increased job opportunities, higher earning potential, and greater professional recognition within the healthcare industry.
  • Continuing Education Participants: Healthcare professionals committed to lifelong learning and staying current with the latest advancements in their field would find value in this certificate program. They seek opportunities to expand their knowledge base, learn new techniques, and integrate evidence-based practices into their clinical work.
  • Passionate about Orthopedics and Sports Medicine: The target audience includes individuals who have a genuine passion for orthopedic conditions, musculoskeletal health, and sports-related injuries. They are motivated to deepen their understanding of these specialized areas and develop the skills necessary to provide effective, patient-centered care.
  • Diverse Backgrounds and Experience Levels: The audience may include NPs and PAs with varying levels of experience in orthopedics and sports medicine, ranging from those who are relatively new to the field to seasoned practitioners looking to refine their expertise.
  • Commitment to Patient Care Excellence: Above all, the target audience is characterized by its dedication to delivering high-quality care to patients with orthopedic injuries, musculoskeletal conditions, and sports-related ailments. They prioritize patient outcomes, safety, and satisfaction in their professional practice.
  • Overall, the target audience for a specialty certificate in orthopedics and sports medicine for NPs and PAs encompasses individuals who are driven, passionate, and committed to advancing their careers and delivering exceptional care in these specialized areas of healthcare.

Required textbooks

  • AAOS Essentials of Musculoskeletal Care: Enhanced 5th Edition (Textbook)
  • AAOS, April Armstrong, Mark C. Hubbard ISBN 10: 1284166856 / ISBN 13: 9781284166859
  • Cost $183.95

Purchase textbooks

About Karen M. Myrick, DNP




Karen M. Myrick comes to us from Connecticut where she was a distinguished professor of nursing, known for her expertise in orthopedics and sports medicine. She created a Post-Master's Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Certificate program for NPs and PAs, one of only two such programs in the nation and the only one for PAs.

In addition to her academic role, Dr. Myrick maintains her clinical practice as a nurse practitioner in an orthopedic urgent care setting. She also serves as the Director of Nursing Education and Practice for Springer Publishing, where she contributes to the advancement of nursing knowledge and practice.

Committed to advancing healthcare through research, Dr. Myrick focuses on athletes and sports medicine. Her work has garnered multiple grants, enabling her to pioneer innovative approaches in clinical health assessment, biomechanics, sports performance and injury prevention. She has authored and edited several textbooks.

Dr. Myrick's contributions to the field include the development, testing and publication of a physical examination technique for diagnosing hip labral tears. As an educator and organizer of large meetings and continuing medical education events, she serves as the meeting coordinator and CME officer for the New England Shoulder and Elbow Society.