Building bridges between technology and medicine: design and evaluation of the technical medicine curriculum

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Background: Technology takes an increasingly central role in healthcare. Rapid technological developments, complex problems and a labour market shortage requires healthcare professionals who can adapt successfully to these changes.
Healthcare professionals using medical technology can no longer rely on
monodisciplinary knowledge and skills. Therefore, a curriculum was developed to educate a new healthcare professional who can translate medical technology use into improved patient-specific procedures, the Technical Physician.

Objective: Qualitative analysis of the curriculum design, curriculum effectiveness
and impact on Technical Physicians’ practice in relation to quality of direct patient care.

Methodology: An educational design model was followed. Cognitive integration,
self-directed learning, and technical-medical design projects were selected as main instructional principles. The impact of the curriculum was evaluated by 1) internal evaluation and accreditation reports and 2) semi-structured interviews with 30 alumni about the impact of Technical Physicians’ practice on quality of direct patient care.

Results: The internal evaluation and accreditation reports showed that changes in the curriculum were required to ensure adaptive expertise development, enhance reflection and support continuing faculty development. Preliminary analysis of the interviews showed that alumni reported increased patient safety and more efficient and effective implementation of technology.

Discussion: Technical Physicians report that they are able to translate and use
technology for safe, efficient and effective solutions for patient-specific problems in direct patient care. An important question that remains to be answered is whether our theory-inspired instructional principles result in adaptive expertise developmentin practice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEngaging, Engineering, Education
Subtitle of host publicationBook of Abstracts, SEFI 48th Annual Conference University of Twente (online), 20-24 September, 2020
EditorsJan van der Veen, Natascha van Hattum-Janssen, Hannu-Matti Järvinen, Tinne de Laet, Ineke ten Dam
Place of PublicationEnschede
PublisherUniversity of Twente
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-2-87352-020-5
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event48th SEFI Annual Conference on Engineering Education, SEFI 2020 - Online, Enschede, Netherlands
Duration: 20 Sept 202024 Sept 2020
Conference number: 48


Conference48th SEFI Annual Conference on Engineering Education, SEFI 2020
Abbreviated titleSEFI 2020
Internet address


  • Curriculum design
  • Curriculum evaluation
  • Quality of patient care
  • Innovation
  • Medical technology


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