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Board 2: Work in Progress: Creating an Engineering-based Medical School to Address a Critical Gap in Medical Innovation

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Biomedical Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Biomedical Engineering

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Paper Authors


Jennifer R. Amos University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

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Dr Amos joined the Bioengineering Department at the University of Illinois in 2009 and is currently a Teaching Associate Professor in Bioengineering and an Adjunct Associate Professor in Educational Psychology. She received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering at Texas Tech and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from University of South Carolina. She completed a Fulbright Program at Ecole Centrale de Lille in France to benchmark and help create a new hybrid masters program combining medicine and engineering and also has led multiple curricular initiative in Bioengineering and the College of Engineering on several NSF funded projects.

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Gabriella R. Dupont University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

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I am a MEng student in Bioengineering, with a BS, Bioengineering, both from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. I am interested in biomechanics and how curriculum structure affects education outcomes.

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Healthcare and medicine will change dramatically in response to external factors such as inequities driven by rising costs of healthcare, the role of technology in medicine, and ethical dilemmas driven by increases in population and age-related diseases [1]. To meet these developing needs, we will break down the barriers between the technical aspects of engineering and social and clinical aspects of medicine to produce physician-innovators, who truly understand the clinical culture and environment as well as the engineering domain [2]. Within our current department, college, and unit structures, there is little to no opportunity for engineering graduate students to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the medical sciences or the practice of medicine, thus, engineers often design in absence of clinical input. Traditional engineering training, without greater context of healthcare and medical need, social inequity, and understanding of the applications in the healthcare system, only allows engineers to create technology, which makes iterative steps toward impact in healthcare. This approach has had many successes but the clinical community’s lack of understanding of engineering forces slow uptake in the medical community and lack of invovlement in the design and development process. To this end, we will create a new engineering-based medical school to fill a critical educational gap for inspiring engineering graduate students toward translational medical research, entrepreneurialism, and healthcare [2]. These efforts will create new avenues to careers in clinical industry and research positions and provide a competitive advantage to the lengthy combined MD/PhD pathway. This program will be piloted with a first incoming class in 2018.

This new college, will be the first engineering-based college of medicine where engineering would integrated across the entire curriculum along with clinical and basic sciences. The new curriculum allows us to meaningfully integrate clinical experiences into graduate engineering education top bridge gaps between engineers at the BS, MS, and PhD level and MDs. The curriculum emphasizes key educational engineering and clinical aspects of medical education applicable to physician-innovators who are researching and designing new medical tools. A cross-campus team of faculty from engineering, basic science, and clinical sciences defined 10 program objectives, which showcase skills and knowledge of this new breed of student and are unique to accomplishing the goals of this curriculum. This new approach requires development of a suite of activities related to curriculum design, clinical experiences, and assessment approaches to support the integrated education. Evaluation data will be used to determine if this transformative curriculum develops graduates with the desired attributes to contribute to increased translation of clinically related engineering designs. This paper will focus on the design of the curriculum, faculty development programs, and assessment tools for this new curriculum.

Amos, J. R., & Dupont, G. R. (2018, June), Board 2: Work in Progress: Creating an Engineering-based Medical School to Address a Critical Gap in Medical Innovation Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--29980

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