June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
23.1379.1 - 23.1379.6
An Engineering in Medicine Programme: Opening Engineering Students’ Mind Through a Living Laboratory Education (Works in Progress)Abstract:Bioengineers provide the bridge between medicine and engineering. The bioengineering educationshould ensure the students are able to acquire the vital engineering knowledge and expertise in thefield of biomedical engineering, and also to gain an appreciation of the art and science of medicine.Besides the occasional visits to hospitals and interaction with medical professionals, extended periodof immersion in the hospital and first-hand interaction with the patients is paramount. An Engineeringin Medicine (EIM) programme in Rehabilitation Engineering has been co-developed by Faculty ofEngineering (FoE) together with the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine in a local hospital. Thecountry’s first EIM programme to be co-taught by engineers and medical doctors, offers theengineering students an unique learning experience in a living laboratory setting. The classes areconducted in the hospital, in the rehabilitation gym and right at the bedside. The students are taught bythe medical doctors and physiotherapists on the basics of anatomy and rehabilitation medicine, thevarious forms of rehabilitation (restorative and compensatory), and the equipment used inrehabilitation. The students are required to come close to the patients and interview the patients tounderstand more of their medical conditions, their living life style and their basic needs afterdischarging from the hospital. This level of close contact with the patients will allow the students tounderstand the needs of the patients better, and trigger their mind to come up with engineeringsolutions through the user-centric design approach. This is also a valuable experience whereengineering students would not be able to acquire normally. Ethnography (observational skills) andeffective interviewing techniques are taught before the students begin their immersion in the hospital.Equipped with the essential skills, the students enter the hospital with an open but mindful mentalityto observe and identify the medical unmet needs, at the same time be sensitive and able to directrelevant questions to the patients.This EIM programme is incorporated into the Design-Centric Curriculum (DCC) of the Faculty ofEngineering. DCC is a flexible and self-exploratory alternative learning pathway, where engineeringstudents will work on multi-year, multi-disciplinary projects which address complex and coupledproblems. The students will work in groups (comprising of students from different engineeringdisciplines) to identify the medical needs in rehabilitation, and to conceptualize and developengineering solutions, and eventually to deliver integrated solutions in the hospital. The students willspend 3 years working on the projects, and be guided by a team of mentors (from academic andindustry/hospitals) with diverse background. The first intake, which began in August 2012, hasenrolled 15 engineering students (7 bioengineering, 5 mechanical engineering and 3 electricalengineering). The enrollment number is kept small so as to ensure quality supervision received by thestudents. And the multi-disciplinary group will encourage cross-disciplinary exchange between thestudents thereby enriching the students’ learning experience.
Chong, D. Y., & Choo, J. H., & Soh, E. K., & Ng, Y., & Tham, M. P. (2013, June), Work in Progress: An Engineering in Medicine Programme - Opening Engineering Students’ Mind Through a Living Laboratory Education Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/22764
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