The Right Stuff
EnMed’s blended curriculum includes a full medical curriculum delivered using the modern ”flipped classroom” team-based learning method, as well as educational sessions taught by top engineering faculty. Students will graduate with the clinical skills to diagnose illness and treat patients as well as an engineering mindset that prepares them to solve health issues by inventing new technologies.
This next generation of physicians will also be experienced in research and commercialization fundamentals so they can rapidly move cutting-edge ideas from the drawing board to actual patient care. “EnMed will educate future physicians on how to effectively use their engineering skills to translate medical research into promising solutions for patients in a timely fashion,” said Dr. Timothy Boone, director of the Houston Methodist Education Institute. “This new method of integrating engineering techniques and medical knowledge will enhance patient care innovations that will ultimately impact the patient experience and outcomes.”
EnMed students are also exposed to the cutting-edge medical environment of the world-renowned Texas Medical Center in Houston. The program’s classes take place in the new Texas A&M EnMed facilities located in Houston, and students then apply their knowledge and complete their clinical training at Houston Methodist Hospital. Eventually, a revamped 18-story building in the Texas Medical Center will house classrooms, multidisciplinary teaching laboratories, a standardized patient/simulation space and a maker’s space for students in the program.
Focus on Innovation
The first cohort of 25 students entered the program in summer 2019 and are expected to graduate in 2023. Each student comes into the program with an undergraduate degree in engineering (electrical, mechanical, biomedical, nuclear, material science, etc.) or computer science or equivalent training in the physical sciences. The initial response was tremendous even with minimal national promotion. The volume and exceptional quality of applications is reflective of the innovativeness of the program and its vision of health care transformation.
EnMed students learn to innovate early in their program through an initial engineering class in biodesign. As part of this course, the aspiring physicians participate in the College of Engineering’s Aggies Invent program, which challenges students’ innovation, creativity and communication skills over a 48-hour period. These types of opportunities will build the foundation for each student’s final innovation project, a transformational invention created prior to graduation.
That’s where the Housers’ generous support of EnMed through the Houston Methodist Hospital Foundation is so crucial. “The generosity of the Housers’ gift in direct support of the EnMed students’ innovation portfolios will undoubtedly have a profound impact on the projects that these exceptional students will develop over the course of their program,” said Dr. Trevor Burt, Houston Methodist Hospital’s vice president for education administration. “The opportunities are endless, and the imagination and determination of these students will most certainly influence patient care in our communities and around the world for years to come.”
Ultimately, the Housers believe that supporting EnMed is not only an investment in a student’s professional career, but also a commitment to improving the future of health care. “Mark and I have a huge heart for young people and education, and we’re always keeping our eyes open to help when we can,” said Lou, who holds an accounting degree from Texas A&M. “Our background is based on God’s word in that to whom much is given, much is required. To me, it’s a no-brainer when you can give money to extremely bright young people who have an incredible passion. There’s nothing more exciting than to support young people who want to the change the world.”
To support the EnMed program, contact:
David Boggan ’79, Texas A&M College of Medicine senior director of development
Reagan Chessher ’96, Texas A&M College of Engineering senior director of development
Jessica Johnston, MFA, Houston Methodist Hospital Foundation director of development
Support EnMed’s Groundbreaking Work
Among the first programs in the nation based on the convergence of engineering and medicine, Texas A&M’s and Houston Methodist’s EnMed program already is creating a stir—and beginning to gain competitors. To recruit the brightest minds to create a leading-edge program, the Texas A&M Foundation and the Houston Methodist Hospital Foundation are focused on raising funds to support EnMed scholarships, professorships and EnMed Innovation projects.
Texas A&M’s College of Engineering and College of Medicine set a fundraising goal of $50 million through the Texas A&M Foundation. These funds will be used for:
Currently, the average debt from medical school alone is $200,000. However, EnMed’s tuition also includes a master’s degree in engineering, so students face additional financial costs to attend this program. This alone may preclude some students from applying to the program.
Another looming factor involves efforts by other institutions to attract medical students. For instance, New York University just successfully completed a fundraising campaign of sufficient size to allow the university to waive tuition for every medical student. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which has a new medical school that is engineering-based, now funds about one-third of the total class cost.
Competitive scholarships, which can be endowed with gifts ranging from $25,000 to $100,000, will help the program’s recruiting efforts and incentivize top-caliber students to join EnMed.
EnMed plans to hire 25 new faculty to teach in the program and is searching for the world’s brightest minds in medicine and engineering. Endowed chairs, which can be established with a $1.5 million gift, will make a significant difference in attracting these individuals to join the EnMed’s faculty.
ENMED innovation PROJECTS
In addition, the Houston Methodist Hospital Foundation has set a fundraising goal of $20 million to support EnMed innovation projects that have commercialization potential. These projects, which are a required part of the EnMed program, will require research as well as production time. Students will work in maker’s spaces, as well as with innovators and researchers in the Houston Methodist Research Institute to create invention prototypes and continue to refine these throughout their degree program.