Perspectives on Bioengineering Clinical Immersion: History, Innovation, and Impact

Ann Biomed Eng. 2020 Sep;48(9):2301-2309. doi: 10.1007/s10439-020-02508-x. Epub 2020 Apr 20.


Opportunities to provide clinical immersion experiences to bioengineering undergraduate students have expanded over the last several years. These programs allow students to observe the clinical environment in order to better understand workflow processes, the context in which medical equipment is used, and identify unmet needs firsthand. While each program focuses on identifying unmet needs, these experiences vary in content and implementation. Here we discuss features of clinical immersion programs, share details of our program after six years, and present data regarding post-graduation employment of our participants. Students who participated in the University of Illinois at Chicago Clinical Immersion Program are not more likely to pursue careers in industry as compared to non-participants, nor do they demonstrate an ability to find a job more quickly than non-participants. However, participants who did enter into industry self-reported that the program was impactful to both their career interests and ability to find their first employment position.

Keywords: Bioengineering; Biomedical engineering; Clinical immersion; Education; Needs identification; Undergraduate.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Engineering* / education
  • Biomedical Engineering* / history
  • Education, Professional / history*
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Illinois
  • Students
  • Universities