I&E’s Medical Student Expert Advising Program


I&E is now partnering up with the School of Engineering to bring together opportunities for biomedical engineers (BME’s) and medical students to collaborate and innovate on potential healthcare innovations. As BME students are working on discovering problems and building solutions that could be used in healthcare settings, I&E students can act as medical advisors and/or team members to help BME’s better understand the clinical environment and needs to improve healthcare.

Advising Options

Work with BME students through two different classes:


Be a Medical Advisor! (Commitment is ~7 hours over 7-8 weeks per semester)

BME Course 499 – In this course undergrads undergo clinical needs finding to generate a project idea intended to be a healthcare innovation through observation via nurses, technicians, physicians at the UM of VA Hospital. From these observations, BME students will identify an important clinical problem and validate that problem with your help. (Fall semester only & available for M1 – M4’s)

  • Provide insight on medical terminology
  • Help map the healthcare workflow
  • Answer questions specific to patient care


Participate as a Medical Expert Advisor on BME Projects! (Commitment is ~3-7 hours over 7-8 weeks per semester)

BME Course 451 – In this course, BME student teams work together to understand stakeholders, challenges, and incorporate key information to build ideas that can be used as biomedical devices, therapeutics, or diagnostics. Your expertise from the perspective of the medical staff, patient, and clinical environment could provide helpful insight to how BME’s could pivot their projects to build better products, but also for them to learn key skills to the true biomedical technology industry. What benefits do you get? Not only are you gaining skills in how to contribute to a budding innovation, but acting as an expert advisor mimics the real role M.D.’s can have in the ever-growing biomedical technology ecosystem. If you like the project and want to potentially determine its commercializability, conduct a deeper business analysis of the competitive landscape, market potential, intellectual property strategy, and regulatory pathway. By taking a project, this is capable of fulfilling your branch project or I&E capstone project. (Fall and Winter semester and available only to medical students who have completed or are currently in clinical sequence.)

  • Teach and advise withBME project team members
  • Find a potential cool project!
  • Learn about the creation of biomedical devices
  • Learn about prototyping
  • Conduct a business case analysis
  • Fulfill your capstone requirement
  • Fulfill your remediation requirement


How does the program work?

Due to the time constraints of the medical school curriculum, we have worked out a flexible program to accommodate your busy schedule.

First, you connect with Margarita expressing your interest in the program and depending on your availability and the number of BME projects available will be connected via email to a BME student or team working on a topic of your interest. Once you project or topic match, you will provide your medical expertise to advise BME students on projects and ideas based on your schedule.


What is the time commitment and what are the expectations?

BME projects vary in length (1 or 2 semesters) but at a minimum, we ask medical students to commit ~7 hours over 7-8 weeks per semester. You can pick up as many open projects as you so desire!

During your time as a consultant you can expect to: provide your medical expertise, draw out hospital room layouts, explain the use of space in settings and workflow systems, and potentially help BME’s find the right connections to individuals (other physicians, researchers, hospital administrators) who could help them pivot their idea or device. Help them understand how current diagnostics and therapeutics are being used (or lack thereof) to better understand the challenges when making new innovations.

Also note, that in certain cases BME student/teams may need to be taken to the environment where devices would be implemented. Therefore you may be asked to explain/teach or walk students through various clinical environments or show them how current methods of biomed-devices are used using the U-M Sim. Center. *Note that the BME students are aware of the expectations and manners when observing in clinical settings.


How will this program enrich your I&E experiences and medical career?

Partake in projects involved in various medical topics (ie. Sports medicine, urology, cardiology, radiology, oncology, etc…) that interest you and that could potentially lead to you finding a new project that could be used as your capstone.

While advising a project or topic, you could perform due diligence analysis and determine the marketability and if you would like to continue working on this potential idea in the long run.

By providing your medical expertise to advise BME students on projects, these experiences could be translated to your C.V. and help you explore career possibilities like consulting or working with start-ups/companies on growing healthcare innovations.

December 20, 2017