Johns Hopkins launches new one-year biomedical design program for med students

January 12, 2017

David Gullotti (left) in the Carnegie Design Studio with one of his graduate advisors, Amir Manbachi, director of innovations at the Carnegie Center for Surgical Innovation. The Carnegie Design studio is a working space at Johns Hopkins Hospital made available to CBID students through collaborations with the Departments of Neurosurgery and Biomedical Engineering.

The Johns Hopkins Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design, which specializes in medical device design, has launched a one-year gap program with funding for medical students studying at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

The program builds on the success of CBID’s David E. Swirnow Master of Science program and provides a stipend, partial tuition support, and research fund allowance specifically for medical students. The new gap year program is open to qualifying medical students from The Johns Hopkins Hospital for the 2017-2018 academic year, and is expected to expand to applicants from other schools in future.

“This is the first program of its kind, offering a gap-year research training experience for medical students to learn how the tools they will be using to help patients are designed and developed,” said Youseph Yazdi, executive director of CBID, part of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, which is located in Whiting School of Engineering and School of Medicine. “These students will gain hands-on experience designing health care solutions for both advanced and low-resource healthcare systems. They will also enrich the program for our other students, providing insights from their medical school training.”

The program is offered in partnership with the Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical and Translational Research. Funding is provided in part by the institute through the TL1 grant Predoctoral Clinical Research Training Program, which provides medical students with additional training and mentorship in clinical and translational research.

The program had a trial run this year, when medical student David Gullotti joined the CBID MSE gap year program between his third and fourth years of medical school. His experiences working with other CBID students, and their experiences working with him, were so successful that a decision was made to expand and formalize the initiative. In the past, two medical doctors, both plastic surgery residents, graduated from the program.

Gullotti praised the program’s condensed timeframe, and says he gained “incredibly valuable” knowledge and experience.

“As demanding as medicine is, I expect it would be challenging down the line to learn how to bring a medical device from the conception of an idea to market,” he sayid. “Entering residency with the knowledge gained from this program will put a great deal of wind to my sails in order to more quickly and effectively impact patients through the design of medical devices.

“Many of my peers with technical backgrounds and an interest in having a wider impact on health care will find the CBID MSE to be a good complement to the MD curriculum.”

Excerpted from The Hub.

The Johns Hopkins Center for Bioengineering Innovation & Design