A a middle school student answering the question "what do you think you'll study at college?", I was quick to cross medicine off my list. I believe my exact words were "I don't want to do anything that involves poking people." My disinterest in medicine remained largely unchallenged until I interned at Boston Device Development, a small product development consultancy in Newton, MA. As a college junior looking to develop experience in mechanical design, BDD's focus on medical devices was just the context for my work. As that summer progressed, I began to realize that medical devices are fantastic design problems becauses of their engineering challenges, human factors, and business needs.
The experience reaffirmed my decision not to become a surgeon, but made me reconsider the way I viewed medicine, how innovations come to market, and how many opportunities there are to make better products. Undoubtedly it was this experience that led me to work with DePuy Synthes Mitek Sports Medicine for my senior capstone project. Our year-long project was to identify gaps in DePuys' portfolio of devices, consider the market opportunities and unmet needs of surgeons, generate new device concepts, and ultimately build a functional proof-of-concept. Because of these experiences and my hope to work on similar projects after graduation, my GCSP portfolio will focus on "Engineering better medicines."
Rowley, Brett, "When Engineering Isn't Enough" (2014). 2014 Grand Challenge Scholars Program. 11.