Question by Jason: How to use My Mechanical Engineering degree in the Medical Field?
I have a MS in Mechanical Engineering with a year of experience in the Bio-Fuel Field. I grew up wanting to become a doctor, but somewhere down the line became an engineer instead. How can I use my Mechanical Engineering degree to cross the gap and help people in the medical field?
Answer by LN
There are many areas where ME is needed for building medical devices. The radiation oncology industry build big mechanical machines to house and manipulate the radiation beam. They build 7-10 ton machines that move with the precision of less than 1 mm that is required for accurate treatment. Another uses a robotic arm with a small medical linear accelerator to treat tumors with 100’s of shot.
Intuitive Surgical makes the da Vinci robotic surgical system that allows physicians to do more precise surgeries.
On a smaller scale, ME are always needed to build/mount devices with special requirements that needed someone with an understanding of mechanics and materials to build the a device that a doctor dreams of.
ME as also find their way into industrial design to make devices more usable and attractive, e.g. CT machines, better pill bottles, Pyxis drug dispensing systems.
Nanotech is also a new frontier with applications to medicine.
Maybe your experience in biofuels may be useful in research universities that are trying to create self assembling systems to mass produce medicines.
At UCLA (I think) there is research to build in-field use portable one time use diagnostics systems that can do a battery of tests w/o have to visit a laboratory.
ME are needed to build cheap microscopes and other equipment for use in the third world.
Check job descriptions in the Bay Area (craigslist or linkedin or other) or Boston (MIT, Harvard).
Check with research universities with medical schools in your area. Look at what kind of research they do and do an informational interview with some of the researchers.
Read Science Now, Sci-Am, etc….
The world is your oyster.
Best of Luck.
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