Part of the
Centre for
Engineering Education
TU DelftTU EindhovenUniversity of TwenteWageningen University
Centre for
Engineering Education


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Project introduction and background information

Technology takes an increasingly central role in healthcare. Rapid technological developments, complex problems and a labour market shortage requires healthcare professionals who can adapt successfully to these changes. Healthcare professionals using medical technology can no longer rely on monodisciplinary knowledge and skills. Therefore, a curriculum was developed to educate a new healthcare professional who can translate medical technology use into improved patient-specific procedures, the Technical Physician.

Objective and expected outcomes

The objective is the qualitative analysis of the curriculum design, curriculum effectiveness and impact on Technical Physicians’ practice in relation to quality of direct patient care. An educational design model was followed. Cognitive integration, self-directed learning, and technical-medical design projects were selected as main instructional principles. The impact of the curriculum was evaluated by 1) internal evaluation and accreditation reports and 2) semi-structured interviews with 30 alumni about the impact of Technical Physicians’ practice on quality of direct patient care.

Results and learnings

The internal evaluation and accreditation reports showed that changes in the curriculum were required to ensure adaptive expertise development, enhance reflection and support continuing faculty development. Preliminary analysis of the interviews showed that alumni reported increased patient safety and more efficient and effective implementation of technology.

Technical Physicians report that they are able to translate and use technology for safe, efficient and effective solutions for patient-specific problems in direct patient care. An important question that remains to be answered is whether our theory-inspired instructional principles result in adaptive expertise development in practice.

Practical outcomes

This research has also been presented at the 48th SEFI Annual Conference on Engineering Education, SEFI 2020, Online, Enschede, Netherlands (20 Sep 2020 - 24 Sep 2020)

More could be found in the paper (at the downloads on the right): “ Building Bridges Between Technology And Medicine:  Design And Evaluation Of The Technical Medicine Curriculum by M. Groenier and H.A.T. Miedema