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Engineering in Medicine: Biomedical Engineering vs. Surgery Engineering

Biomedical Engineering vs. Surgery and Intervention Engineering

When medicine and engineering are merged in pursuit of innovation, our ability to diagnose and treat patients is transformed. 

Interestingly, Vanderbilt had one of the first undergraduate degree programs in biomedical engineering over 50 years ago. Since then, the opportunities for engineers in medicine to make an impact have grown and become almost as diverse as the number of clinical specialties in medicine itself.

Two types of medical engineering are especially at the forefront of innovation: biomedical engineering and surgery and intervention engineering. Though they share many similarities, both play a distinct role in transforming the modern healthcare landscape. 

Explore how the Vanderbilt School of Engineering empowers engineers for the  future of procedural medicine.

How Does Engineering Impact the Medical Field?

Engineering in medicine has catapulted our abilities to treat patients into levels of sophistication unimaginable to researchers a century ago. More specifically, biomedical engineering and its specialties help bring these visions into reality. 

Biomedical engineering is a vast field that combines medicine and engineering to advance therapies and diagnostic abilities. Surgical engineering, often characterized as a subset of biomedical engineering, shares many similarities with biomedical engineering. Engineering for surgical and interventional problems is a specialty that focuses on refining procedural medicine to improve patient outcomes. 

Let’s explore what biomedical engineers and surgery and intervention engineers do, what some roles in the field are, and which degree may be right for you. 

What Is Biomedical Engineering?

Biomedical engineering applies the principles of biology and medicine to the discipline of engineering. Biomedical engineers design, develop, and build life-saving equipment, devices, and software for the medical field.

What Do Biomedical Engineers Do?

Biomedical engineers ultimately seek to bridge the divide between medicine and engineering, merging the principles of one another to create effective therapeutic and diagnostic tools. 

Biomedical engineering is a wide-ranging field with a diversity of career opportunities. These opportunities include research, development of biomaterials, medical device engineering, or medical software development. 

Below are a few roles biomedical engineers hold:

  1. Biomechanical Engineer
  2. Rehabilitation Engineer
  3. Medical Equipment/Technology Engineer
  4. Manufacturing Engineer
  5. Medical Device Engineer

What Is a Surgical or Interventional Engineer? 

Engineering in surgery and intervention (ESI) seeks to transform procedural medicine by employing engineers to translate discoveries in the laboratory into novel technological solutions. 

A specialized area of surgical or interventional engineering refers to the combination of an intimate knowledge of human disease and treatment with skilled engineering abilities to create technology that allows efficient and effective procedural treatment for patients. 

How Do Surgery and Intervention Engineers Fit Into the Broader Field of Engineering?

Engineers in surgery and intervention are trained to be skilled experts in solving complex medical problems by converting laboratory research into real-life solutions. This highly sought-after and in-demand specialty opens several types of career opportunities

Below are a few positions an engineer in surgery and intervention may hold: 

  1. Surgical Engineer
  2. Interventional Engineering
  3. Medical Robotic Engineer
  4. Robotic Engineer
  5. Image Processing Engineer

The High Demand for Engineers Specializing in Surgery and Intervention

The demand for professionals in this engineering specialty has steadily risen over the past few decades. Engineers trained in surgery and intervention customize procedures and treatments based on the specificity of the condition of the patient. This ability revolutionizes treatment and often proves life-saving.

The demand for biomedical engineers is expected to grow 5 percent nationally. Moreover, there is a particularly high demand for biomedical engineers with expertise in industries related to surgical and interventional technologies. 

With the increased demand for professionals, the sophistication of technology and the boundless potential for creating life-saving work, there has never been a more optimal time to earn a master of engineering in surgery and intervention. 

Join the generation of new engineers and pursue all the possibilities of engineering in medicine with a master of engineering in surgery and intervention

Ready to take the next step towards innovation? We invite you to request more information or start your application today. 

Visit our new resource guide: The Future of Healthcare Technology: Robotic Interventions, Technology-Guided Therapy, and Surgical Data Science.

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