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Convolving Engineering and Medical Pedagogies for Training of Tomorrow's Health Care Professionals

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1 Author(s)
Lee, R.C. ; Dept. of Surg., Med. & Organismal Biol., Univ. of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

Several fundamental benefits justify why biomedical engineering and medicine should form a more convergent alliance, especially for the training of tomorrow's physicians and biomedical engineers. Herein, we review the rationale underlying the benefits. Biological discovery has advanced beyond the era of molecular biology well into today's era of molecular systems biology, which focuses on understanding the rules that govern the behavior of complex living systems. This has important medical implications. To realize cost-effective personalized medicine, it is necessary to translate the advances in molecular systems biology to higher levels of biological organization (organ, system, and organismal levels) and then to develop new medical therapeutics based on simulation and medical informatics analysis. Higher education in biological and medical sciences must adapt to a new set of training objectives. This will involve a shifting away from reductionist problem solving toward more integrative, continuum, and predictive modeling approaches which traditionally have been more associated with engineering science. Future biomedical engineers and MDs must be able to predict clinical response to therapeutic intervention. Medical education will involve engineering pedagogies, wherein basic governing rules of complex system behavior and skill sets in manipulating these systems to achieve a practical desired outcome are taught. Similarly, graduate biomedical engineering programs will include more practical exposure to clinical problem solving.

Published in:

Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:60 ,  Issue: 3 )