[heading style=”2″] SWITCHING LANES [/heading]
Will I fit into the world of Biomedical Engineering? How is this field different from the other conventional engineering disciplines? How will I survive in such a vast field if I have a different academic background? If any of these questions trouble you (or even otherwise), continue reading to see if you can actually fit in.
Combining the severity of medical and biological studies with the power of engineering analysis and design is what biomedical engineers are professionally trained for. To be of service to others, to enjoy the excitement of understanding living systems, and to use state-of-the-art science and technology to solve the complex problems of medical care is what whets the interest of the students in choosing Biomedical Engineering.
When you plan on entering any engineering discipline, you must ensure that you have a strong passion for science and mathematics in a way that allows you to solve problems of a highly technical nature. In case of biomedical engineering, you must be willing to add the life sciences and medical knowledge necessary to understand the frame work of the problems on which you will work. Unlike the traditional engineering education, biomedical engineering requires not only an above average ability in math and science but also a willingness to embrace these other areas due to the interdisciplinary nature of the field. Also, you have to understand your responsibility as a biomedical engineer. You are expected to be very thorough in your work. For example, let us say you have a background in electronics engineering. Unlike your conventional electronic devices, the development of biomedical devices will require rigorous testing and must not fail (e.g. If your XBOX breaks, you can take it to the store and get if repaired but if your pacemaker breaks, you die).
It is only in the last few years that biomedical engineering has emerged as its own discipline in comparison to the other engineering fields. It is through the efforts of professionals from different backgrounds joining hands to work collaboratively to improve the healthcare industry, that Biomedical Engineering was born. Much of the work in biomedical engineering consists of research and development, spanning a broad spectrum of subfields (for more details, read Key Areas). Some noteworthy biomedical engineering applications include the development of artificial hear, various diagnostic and therapeutic medical devices ranging from clinical equipment to micro-implants, imaging modalities such as MRIs and EEGs, regenerative tissue engineering and pharmaceutical drugs.
Biomedical Engineering is an inter-disciplinary branch in which students from various backgrounds such as electrical, mechanical, material science, chemical, biological, computer science, industrial and instrumentation, show interest in. Having a degree in any of the above mentioned fields will not prove to be a hurdle in your path if you wish to pursue your higher education in the field of biomedical engineering. A strong background in science and math is important to biomedical engineers. If possible, you should try to obtain some background in calculus, chemistry, biology, and physics as well as enjoy problem-solving, hands-on work and unraveling puzzles.
The emphasis in biomedical engineering is on finding solutions by researching, testing, and applying medical, biological, chemical, electrical, and materials information. Biomedical engineers are employed by hospitals, medical device and testing companies, pharmaceutical companies, government agencies, universities, and medical schools. Attending graduate or professional school is encouraged since there are so many areas of specialization within this field and you are bound to find an area which will suit your liking.
Biomedical Engineering is beneficial for the health and well-being of people and hence, this humanistic component as well as the advanced technology attracts a biomedical engineer to this field. Examples are bountiful and include such devices as implantable cardiac pacemakers and defibrillators, joint replacement implants, biomedical imaging, novel drug delivery systems, and tissue engineered skin used for grafting. If you enjoy the challenge of working on such problems and these topics and applications interest you, then Biomedical Engineering is for you.
The modern life sciences have become more analytical and computer based in their approach to fundamental knowledge and the biomedical industry in now believed to be one of the leading edge industries with a great future and whose benefits we are just beginning to reap. Let your background not be a hurdle in your path to pursue a degree in Biomedical Engineering (or Biomedical Sciences/Bioengineering).