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Clinical Immersion Program for Bioengineering and Medical Students

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Clinical, Patient, and Innovation Experiences in BME

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Paper Authors


Susan Stirling UIC School of Design, University of Illinois at Chicago

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Susan Stirling is a a designer, researcher and educator. She has an undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a graduate degree from the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

At the University of Illinois at Chicago she teaches Design Research Methods, Human Experience in Design and Interdisciplinary Product Development. Susan collaborates with non-design faculty to teach the design process, and helps students discover opportunities and solve problems with design. She is the co-instructor of the Clinical Immersion program in the Department of BioEngineering. Susan balances teaching with her professional career as a design researcher, consultant and strategist.

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Miiri Kotche University of Illinois, Chicago

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Miiri Kotche is a Clinical Associate Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and currently serves as Director of the Medical Accelerator for Devices Laboratory (MAD Lab) at the UIC Innovation Center. Prior to joining the faculty at UIC, she worked in new product development for medical devices, telecommunications and consumer products. She co-teaches both bioengineering capstone design courses, including the longstanding core senior design sequence and the recently launched interdisciplinary medical product development course. She also serves as co-Director of the Freshman Engineering Success Program, and is actively involved in engineering outreach for global health. Miiri received her Ph.D. in Bioengineering and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a B.S. in General Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.

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A summer Clinical Immersion program for bioengineering students is expanded to include medical students to enhance interdisciplinary collaboration. Participants spend three weeks in two different clinical departments. In addition to 30 hours of weekly clinical exposure, the students participate in weekly workshop instruction emphasizing user-centered design, empathy, observation and interviewing, and contextual inquiry. Each student individually maintains a blog journal to encourage reflection and share their observations with other students. After each rotation, teams present problem statements based on insights from their primary research. Bioengineering students and the participating medical students (who are part of the College of Medicine’s Innovation Medicine program) better understand the complexity of problems observed and the current demand for medical devices to both address clinical needs as well as contribute to the overall decrease in the cost of accountable care. Expansion of the Clinical Immersion Program to include second year medical students reinforced the value of interdisciplinary collaboration in identifying opportunities, but also created challenges. This paper reports on the evolution of the Clinical Immersion Program in its third year, including program components, self-reported survey data, implementation challenges, and future improvements.

Stirling, S., & Kotche, M. (2017, June), Clinical Immersion Program for Bioengineering and Medical Students Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28041

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