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Designing an Interprofessional Educational Undergraduate Clinical Experience

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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

Clinical Learning Experiences in BME

Tagged Division

Biomedical Engineering

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Paper Authors


Barbara Jean Muller-Borer East Carolina University

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Barbara J. Muller-Borer, PhD is a professor in the Departments of Engineering and Cardiovascular Sciences and the Director of the Cell-Based Therapy and Tissue Engineering Laboratory at East Carolina University. She serves as the graduate program director for the MS in Biomedical Engineering program and oversees curriculum development and assessment for both the undergraduate biomedical engineering concentration and graduate programs in the Department of Engineering. She received her MS and Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and BS in Engineering from Tufts University.

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Stephanie M. George East Carolina University

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Stephanie M. George received her BS in Engineering Science and Mechanics from Virginia Tech and her PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Georgia Tech and Emory University. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Engineering at East Carolina University and holds an active NSF REU award; Biomedical Engineering in Simulations, Imaging and Modeling (BME-SIM). Her research interests include cardiovascular mechanics and imaging using computational fluid dynamics.

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Introduction: University X is home to the Department of Engineering, X School of Medicine, School of Dental Medicine, College of Nursing, College of Allied Health Sciences, and is affiliated with a large regional medical center. Ongoing assessment of the undergraduate biomedical engineering concentration and student feedback suggested that students had difficulty translating technical course content to real world biomedical engineering problems. Students also requested opportunities for active engagement and access to translational research and clinical shadowing opportunities. The goal of this project was to develop a multidisciplinary, collaborative educational experience, in a clinical environment, to improve student learning. Our objectives were to provide undergraduate engineering students with an understanding and appreciation of the needs and uses of technology in healthcare and to foster innovation in medical technology. Materials and Methods: The Special Topics in Engineering Biomedical Innovation course serves as an engineering technical elective, is targeted to juniors and seniors and was first offered in spring 2016. Students completed an application essay and enrollment was by consent of the instructor. The course included two 2-hour lab sections and one 50-minute lecture per week. All students received training in observation techniques, needs assessment, clinical environments, ethics, professional behavior, entrepreneurship, technology transfer, and intellectual property. In teams of two, students participated in four clinical rotations. In total, 14 clinical departments were involved. Clinic rotations or project time were scheduled during the lab sessions. Lecture sessions were used for discussion, reflection and guest speakers. Clinic rotations were completed during the first half of the semester with the goal of identifying an unmet clinical need. Students spent the remainder of the semester developing and designing a solution. In spring 2017, the class collaborated with an Entrepreneurship course in the College of Business. The combined engineering and business teams pitched their ideas to a group of investors and clinic sponsors. Results and Discussion: A total of 14 students have participated in the course and 8 students are enrolled in 2018. Evaluation of the course is based on assessment of student surveys, project reports, presentations and clinic sponsor feedback. Student surveys were overwhelmingly positive, identifying course strengths in critical and innovative thinking, development of observation skills, applied engineering, and clinical exposure. Suggested course improvements included more project work time, access to engineering fabrication lab, and better coordination with the business students. Clinic sponsors rated the students good to excellent for professionalism, timeliness, respect for patients, asking questions, respect for clinic staff and preparedness. One project has been adopted for a senior biomedical engineering capstone design project. Conclusions: A new course was developed that provided students with clinical experiences and the opportunities to identify and solve real world problems. The collaborations with the Health Sciences Campus and College of Business have been successful and will continue to be developed. A benefit of this course is the generation of novel capstone project ideas. Overall this course has illustrated the importance of providing students open-ended, loosely defined projects and allowing them to take charge of it.

Muller-Borer, B. J., & George, S. M. (2018, June), Designing an Interprofessional Educational Undergraduate Clinical Experience Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30279

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