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A Student-driven Course Brings Medical Students into the Innovation Arena

Medicine is an area teeming with opportunities for innovation. However, medical education remains focused on the memorization of large volumes of information rather than cultivation of critical thinking skills. Students who enter with aspirations in service-learning or device development have no outlet for these passions. For these reasons, students at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School created and have been running a health innovations course called Innovating Healthcare Solutions (IHS) to instruct students in the design process as they design projects to improve health outcomes in partner communities within Dallas and abroad. Over the past few years this course has developed into a year-long program with faculty and administrative support from within the medical center and also from partner university engineering programs. Student projects created during the course have impacted healthcare within Dallas and also within partner communities abroad, demonstrating value of design education within the medical school curriculum.

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