Mahidol launches medical, engineering dual degree

Mahidol launches medical, engineering dual degree

Students wanting to study medical sciences, dentistry and pharmacology participate in an open house event hosted by the Society of Medical Students of Thailand in Bangkok last year. (Bangkok Post file photo)
Students wanting to study medical sciences, dentistry and pharmacology participate in an open house event hosted by the Society of Medical Students of Thailand in Bangkok last year. (Bangkok Post file photo)

Mahidol University has launched a new programme to arm medical students with engineering knowledge, with the goal of advancing medical innovation and boosting medical tourism.

Mahidol University's Faculty of Engineering and Ramathibodi Hospital's Faculty of Medicine are partnering to offer the new undergraduate programme, according to Piyamitr Sritara, dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Ramathibodi Hospital.

The entire course will last seven years.

In the first three years of study, students will take pre-medicine and fundamental medical courses.

The fourth year will be dedicated to studying engineering and creating new innovations.

Meanwhile, the last three years will see the students take advanced medical courses and experiment with the innovations they created in the fourth year.

"Upon completion, the students will come away as more than just physicians. In fact, they will become 'physician innovators'," said Dr Piyamitr.

"They will look with a broadened vision at opportunities to analyse problems using engineering approaches in a systematic manner," he said.

Dr Piyamitr said the medical graduates will also have specialised knowledge which will give them a higher chance of being admitted to institutions both within the country and abroad to continue their postgraduate studies as they progress their expertise.

This is because the research and innovations they produce during the programme can be cited to satisfy the post-graduate admission criteria.

Jackrit Suthakorn, dean of Mahidol University's Faculty of Engineering, said physicians equipped with engineering knowledge will give the country an edge as a medical tourism hub.

The knowledge will be applied to boost developments in tissue engineering, the application of medicine and medical computation.

The developments will strengthen the country's position as a leading medical tourism hub.

Last year, 1.05 million medical tourists came to Thailand, excluding about 2 million people who accompanied the medical tourists on their trips.

"The dual degree will bring about better healthcare standards and will heighten the economic value of the country as a whole," said Dr Piyamitr.

The programme will admit up to 20 students per year.

Applications can be submitted through the Thai University Central Admission System (TCAS).

Applicants will be required to submit their portfolios showing their past engagements in practical and academic projects, which demonstrate their abilities and academic readiness to pursue the dual-degree study.


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