Medical Engineering Interest Group helps build community at the intersecion of medicine and engineering

By Alissa Kocer

The Medical Engineering Interest Group (MEIG) works to stimulate interest in design and technology among students in the Duke University School of Medicine and Pratt School of Engineering to produce physicians, engineers and scientists capable of making technical advances in healthcare.

MEIG is currently led by fourth-year medical students Anthony Lin and Sneha Rao and second-year medical students Mahsa Taskindoust and Andreas Seas. The leadership team is passionate about supporting students interested in learning about, engaging in and leading innovations in medical engineering.

“Medicine is becoming more and more tied to the engineering and technology that support it,” Lin said, “and the more familiar we are with those strengths and limitations, the more effective we can be as future physicians.”

MEIG leadership develops programming and events to not only connect members of the School of Medicine and Pratt but also to foster interest in biomedical solutions for commonly encountered challenges in medicine. “Being on the leadership team for MEIG enables me to continue expanding the collaboration between medicine and engineering at Duke,” Sneha Rao said. “Given the breadth of clinical and engineering research on campus, we aimed to link these two groups and foster new ideas to fruition through various new initiatives including lunch talks and research symposium events.”

To help kick off the new academic year, they will host a MEDx/MEIG Mixer. While this event is open to everyone, first year medical students are highly encouraged to attend, not only to get a better feel for campus but also to become acquainted with the faculty who work at the intersection of medicine and engineering.

This winter, they will hold a MEDx/MEIG Research exchange that will offer medical students considering engineering research in their third year of medical school the chance to meet with a number of engineering faculty at Duke to learn more about their research. In the spring, MEIG will hold a Design Night, which will allow undergraduate teams from Duke, UNC and NC State the chance to present designs and pitches for feedback from clinicians and others in attendance. Throughout the year, the group also hosts a speaker series featuring Duke professors doing research at the intersection of engineering and medicine.

“We are excited to continue our partnership with MEDx to foster new mentoring opportunities between medical students and medical engineering faculty to produce physicians capable of driving change in healthcare through more thoughtful use of technology and engineering,” the leadership team said.