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Innovation Medicine Program (IMED) – UI Health

Updated: 7/15/16

Students selected through a competitive application process (considering supplemental essays and scoring of non-cognitive qualifications prior to matriculation).  Admission to UIC College of Medicine and acceptance of offer to join IMED program.  There are no courses, clerkships, or required readings prior to participation.

The IMED program seeks to create future innovators who draw from their clinical experience to solve real-world problems.  The program will provide participants with an understanding of how the application of current and future technology affects clinical care, how user (clinician and patient) needs are translated into medical device solutions, and how an environment of interdisciplinary fosters collaboration for innovation.

Several components of this program are already being offered, and the IMED longitudinal elective provides a means to connect these opportunities to prepare future physicians for the increased role of innovative technologies in health care. Physicians trained in the process of innovating solutions to problems encountered in the clinical environment will have an understanding of how a need can be addressed and potentially translated to a commercial product solution.

The outcome of the Innovation Medicine Program experience is for medical students to develop a strong understanding of the value of interdisciplinary collaboration in the translation of medical technology for clinical application.College of Engineering and College of Medicine faculty with experience in medical product development will structure experiences in interdisciplinary team-based problem solving and such that participants understand various aspects of product development, including the overall process, market opportunity, IP and regulatory considerations, and case studies.In addition, participants will build relationships with their cohort, a small group of 8-12 medical students who have a shared interest in innovation and technology in medicine.

Participants will gain competency in interdisciplinary problem-solving, which includes an appreciation and understanding of varying perspectives brought from other disciplines, including engineering, marketing and industrial design.  The Innovation Medicine program is designed to provide “real world” experiential, self-directed and team oriented problem-based learning.  As technological changes in medicine and healthcare continue to impact the way clinicians provide care, this program seeks to provide exposure and training to apply of translational research and engineering approaches to solve fundamental problems in clinical healthcare.


  1. Seminars: 6-8 one hour workshops accompanied by relevant readings during M1year.
  2. Essentials of Clinical Medicine (ECM) course requirement for M1 and M2 years: IMED students will be grouped together for ECM in their M1 and M2 years.An IMED clinical mentor will provide contextual and relevant information related to innovation and technology based on lectures.
  3. Three week Clinical Immersion in summer before M2 year.30 hours full time clinical immersion, partnered with bioengineering undergraduate seniors, under the mentorship of a participating clinical faculty member.Monday 9am -12pm students will meet with Bioengineering and Design Research faculty for guided instruction on needs assessment in the clinical environment.On Monday 1-4 pm, Tu-Th 9-3 pm, Friday 9am-12pm, students will be in the hospital/clinical environment.Fridays 12-3 pm students will come together as a group to discuss observations and findings, and work to complete presentations.The Clinical Immersion program culminates in an interdisciplinary team presentation to faculty and clinicians.Participants also keep a blog journal documenting their experience.
  4. It is possible that participants may be able to receive some Introduction to Patient Care (IPC) credits during their participation in IPD.  The focus of the course centers around problem identification, which requires students to conduct extensive primary and secondary research on the issue provided.  During their research, teams work with physicians and spend time in the clinical environment.  At these times, it is possible that these experiences with the physician during clinical care will meet the requirements to receive some IPC credit, but this will be pursued by participants on a case by case basis.
  5. Innovation Workshop in M3:This 1 week opportunity will be self-directed with Innovation Medicine mentors.The goal is to identify and begin background research on potential capstone projects, including potential areas of exploration, clinical need, and competitive products.This is designed to fit in a student’s “orange space”, which are unscheduled weeks between core clerkships, during M3 with flexible timing.
  6. IMED Showcase in M4:Participants will use their experience in IMED for their capstone project, primarily completed in April, after their residency match.In this week-long workshop series, students will finalize and present their project.
  7. Students will not interact with patients directly.The Clinical Immersion program, while conducted in the clinical environment, is strictly observational, with a focus on how technology is employed and process workarounds that exist to enable the clinicians to perform better or with more ease.Students will observe the administration of clinical care by health care professionals but will not interact with patients beyond observation.
  8. There are no night on-call responsibilities.
  9. There are no weekend duties.
  10. There will be reading assignments to support the objectives of the IMED program.
  11. Approximately 1/3 is independent self-directed project work.
  12. 0 % of this program is directly supervised by residents.
  13. This program is not designed to have attending physicians directly supervise participants.Instead, faculty affiliated with Bioengineering and the Innovation Center will provide training related to innovation in medical product development.There are clinical mentors in various components of the program, but they are working within the guidelines and goals of each of the IMED opportunities.
  14. IPD course in M2:The interdisciplinary course is comprised of faculty and students from bioengineering, industrial design and marketing.Inclusion of M2 students was piloted Fall 2014 (for no credit).M2 students found the class interesting, beneficial, and relevant to their career interests, but were challenged by the time commitment for no credit.Formally offering IPD as part of the Innovation Medicine program seeks to address this shortcoming, and M2 participants will be required to attend 7 of 14 courses in the fall semester.Learning activities are primary and secondary research (including interviewing physicians and observation of clinical environment), field trip to client-partner (local medical device manufacturer), interdisciplinary class lectures and discussions, group work and presentations.Course will be offered Monday evenings, 5:30-8:30 pm.Due to the heavy workload of an M2 student, participants can minimally attend 50% of the course classes, as the course is designed as team-based and project oriented.In the pilot of this offering to M2 students in Fall 2014, M2 students served as “clinical consultants”, which provided educational benefit, yet reduced the course demands on the medical school participants.


  • Annual review by course director to monitor progress and completion of milestones.
  • Clinical Immersion Program:Team presentations will be evaluated and feedback solicited by clinical mentors and course facilitators.
  • IPD course in M2:Students earn grades based on self and team performance.Students are given assignments (primarily team-based) designed to progress their overall project, and must give midterm and final presentations to the corporate client during the Fall semester.Midterm presentation grades serve as midpoint feedback; three faculty instructors and corporate client-partner provide substantial feedback at midterm and at end of the semester.
  • Innovation Workshop in M3:Student will work closely with a mentor to develop a capstone project.Mentor provides regular feedback, as well as feedback by course director regarding progress and completion of milestones.
  • IMED Showcase in M4:Oral presentation and written submission of capstone project to clinical mentor and course director.
  • Exit interview by course director.

Administrative Information Heading link

  • Program Number

    ELEC 289

  • Program Contacts

    Program Director: Miiri Kotche, PhD
    Telephone: 312-413-8641

  • Program Information

    Location: UI Health

    Duration: 6 weeks of longitudinal credit
    Students accepted: 8-12 student each year for maximum of 48 students in the program at a time.
    Night call: none
    Weekends: none
    Laboratory: None
    House staff used as faculty: No
    Laboratory/Independent Study: Component of every instructional activity
    Inpatient: None
    Outpatient: None
    Total Hours/Week: Variable due to longitudinal nature.