UBC’s Engineers in Scrubs (EiS) program began as an NSERC-funded Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) program designed to foster innovation in medical technology by training biomedical engineers in clinical environments. Developed to help engineers understand and appreciate the needs and uses of technology in health care, the Engineers in Scrubs program helps biomedical engineers learn to navigate the interfaces among engineering research, medical research, clinical practice and product development. Students receive a significant portion of their training in hospital settings, and the program focuses on the medical technology innovation process.

Learn about the EiS Program from a student’s perspective


EiS students follow a slightly modified curriculum. They take a number of the regular BME graduate courses, but also take the following courses in partial satisfaction of the BME core course requirements:

Course No. Course Credits Term
BMEG 500 Orientation to the Clinical Environment 1.0 1
BMEG 501 Interdisciplinary Team Project in Medical Innovation 3.0 1-2
BMEG 590* Professional Skills Workshop Course 1.0 1-2

*Optional for students starting their BMEG 590 program in 2018W or later.



BMEG 500

In this course, students spend time in a series of workshops and tours covering topics such as the organization of the hospital, the roles of various personnel, a tour of the major departments and facilities at Vancouver General Hospital (with special focus on the BME-related research laboratories and the clinical engineering facility), training in asepsis protocols and the operation of the sterile processing department, an introduction to the prototyping facilities associated with the Technology Development Platform for medical device prototyping and a visit to the Medical Device Development Centre (an incubator facility for medical device startup companies).

Following this orientation period, students will be paired with a selection of clinicians, technologists and allied healthcare workers. The primary purpose of this experience is for the students to develop an understanding of what the day-to-day priorities of the various healthcare workers are, what they do and what constraints they operate under.

(Previously APSC 598C)

BMEG 501

This is an eight-month-long course in medical technology innovation which will bring together continuing BME graduate students and medical residents, along with engineering professors, clinicians (both from medicine/surgery and allied health professions), social scientists and mentors from the medical device industry in a formal process of clinical Problem Identification and Prioritization (PIP) which will lead to ideas for interdisciplinary team projects to be conducted over the academic year. This PIP process will be conducted as a series of workshops held in individual clinical departments or units and led by representatives of the most relevant research cluster for each unit. The team projects will be based at the hospital, so trainees will have an exceptional opportunity to engage with clinical personnel and seek their input at all stages of the design, development and testing processes. In addition, students will have access to medical device prototyping equipment and knowledgeable technical personnel through a network of machine shop facilities both at the hospital and on campus. Through this course, students will develop a practical understanding and appreciation of the many considerations involved in applying technology to address clinical needs. Students in BMEG 501 meet weekly at the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility at Vancouver General Hospital, which graciously supports our presence on the hospital campus and offers EiS students access to various fabrication and testing facilities.

BMEG 590

This course will provide extensive opportunities for students to practice communication skills, both written and oral, and to develop and practice project management, research ethics, problem identification and proposal development skills in a professionally natural context. Students will be required to take a selection of professional development workshops put on by a number of well-established centres and programs at UBC and our associated hospitals. Highly successful and well-supported workshops are offered by such groups as the Faculty of Graduate Studies (research skills, time and project management, and leadership; all available through their Graduate Pathways to Success program), the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute (research, grant-writing and presentation skills), the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology (teaching skills) and the University Industry Liaison Office (entrepreneurship and intellectual property skills).

(Previously APSC 598E)


If you are an applicant to the BME program and would like to be considered for the EiS program, please indicate your interest in the “Program Specific Question” section of our online application form. This program is open to both Canadian and International applicants.


Engineers in Scrubs began as an NSERC Create Program in 2011. We are immensely grateful for their support.