It might sound contradictory to the layperson, but there’s a lot of scope for people who’ve passed out of mechanical engineering courses in the field of healthcare technology. After all, it does involve manufacturing and maintaining medical devices. Who could do that better than an engineer?
Of all the industries you can get into after completing your engineering degree, healthcare technology is up-and-coming, given the rate at which it’s growing. That being said, entering the field of medical technology will require a particular pedigree. It takes a formal knowledge of medicine and engineering to make your mark in medical technology.
With that in mind, a rough academic roadmap of an engineer’s career in healthcare will include a bachelor’s degree in engineering, followed by a master’s in medical technology and a few research projects under your belt to strengthen your foundation. Research projects matter for a variety of reasons. The most important is the opportunity to get hands-on experience of the kind of work that awaits you. And suppose you would like to pursue further studies or a Ph.D… In that case, solid research projects will increase your chance of being selected by universities with a robust research program in medical technology.
Your engineering program has likely inculcated qualities like complex problem-solving, attention to detail, strong work ethics, and an analytical bent of mind in you. These qualities will take you far in healthcare. The field of medicine encourages individuals from multiple disciplines owing to the diversity and innovation they bring to the table. So, if you’re considering getting into medical technology, don’t skip the extra-curricular. Attend workshops and seminars related to life sciences, biomedical engineering, and medical device manufacturing.
The field of biomechanics, which includes making and innovating therapeutic devices and prosthetics for amputees, paraplegic, and sensory disabled individuals, has been making great strides in improving people’s lives. At the same time, mechanobiology deals with mimicking biological processes at a cellular level for medical trials and experimentation. Tissue engineering also deals with regenerating human tissues and organs to conduct stem cell research and advance 3D bioprinting technology.
There are a variety of master’s courses available in medical technology. You can go for a master’s of engineering or technology in biomedical engineering, medical technology, medical lab technology, medical electronics, medical imaging and image analysis, and a host of others. It all depends on the vertical you want to specialize in. Practically every vertical in medicine, like orthopedics, ophthalmology, neurology, etc., uses medical devices. This means they need skilled engineers to design, manufacture and maintain this high-end medical equipment.
Make sure you stay at the top of your game when it comes to skills like CAD drawings and CAM manufacturing, stay abreast of the progress in medical technology, and know your medical jargon and concepts like the back of your hand. As a biomedical engineer, you would be working with research labs, hospitals, and medical device manufacturing companies, advising them and designing products, and innovating cutting-edge technology to solve long-standing problems in medicine using robotics, mechanics, and electronics.
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