Bridging the culture gap between doctors and engineers

There is a big cultural gap between doctors and engineers.
Both are learned professions, but engineering is usually predictable, because man-made systems may be complicated, but they are not complex. Medicine, on the other hand, is unpredictable, because biological systems are complex and plagued by many biological variables, some of which are still not clearly defined.
This is why doctors are taught to understand and memories biological facts. There is often no logic behind these because nature can be quite messy, which means they need to learn to cram and regurgitate many pieces of information.
They also need to be able to prove that they know these because we don’t want cowboys operating on patients! This is why medical students are taught to learn, rather than to question. They are graded based on their ability to identify familiar patterns, so they can make the right diagnosis, and this is why doctors are so keen to fit patients into a pre-existing clinical box.
This is why they often get stumped when a patient has something unusual and they aren’t sure what to do. Equally importantly, we train doctors to take personal responsibility, they are taught to be the captain of the ship. After all, if anything goes wrong in the OT, the surgeon takes full responsibility for what happens to their patient, the buck stops with them. This is valuable, but unfortunately, this also means that doctors aren’t very innovative and they get paralyzed when the environment changes. Engineers are taught to innovate and they are keen to look for new problems, so they can design better solutions. They are taught to believe that it’s always possible to find a solution, which is why they start by taking something apart, so they, we can learn how to fix it better.
They believe in starting from first principles and then working from there. This is usually true because engineering problems are usually well defined. This is a very empowering belief and drives them to find creative alternatives. Also, engineers are taught to work as a team, they very rarely do anything alone. For example, they are used to using and creating libraries and APIs, which they re-use and share with other engineers.
This is the reason we need both doctors and engineers to work together, so we can marry the best of both worlds.
This is why we founded MICE ( Medical Innovation Creativity and Entrepreneurship) Labs in partnership with J J Hospital !

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