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Hospital Placements

Hospital Internships: Nothing beats first-hand experience.

Hospital placement First year students spend approximately two weeks on a hospital internship in the first term of studies. You will “shadow” a consultant or research fellow/registrar, attend clinics and ward rounds, observe surgery/interventions, diagnostic imaging sessions etc, to appreciate the context of clinical research. Assessment will take the form of submission of a short report and a presentation outlining your experience and what you have learned from it.

For most students, this is the most engaging part of their first year in the programme. It brings them into contact with the people they hope to work with and assist as they become
biomedical engineers.

The CDT is able to offer this hospital placement module for two reasons. First, the programme is situated in the heart of Oxford’s medical corridor. The Churchill Hospital, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre and the John Radcliffe Hospital (all part of the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust) are within walking distance from the Institute of Biomedical Engineering where the CDT is based.

Second, the programme’s lecturers and researchers have working relationships with the consultants, research fellows, and technicians within these Oxford medical institutions. This professional interaction allows our lecturers to select clinical professionals whose work reflect the three research themes of the programme:

  • Information-Driven Healthcare
  • Modelling for Personalised Healthcare
  • Cancer Therapeutics and Drug Delivery

Senior consultants and experienced technicians in the field of oncology, orthopaedics, cardiology, gynaecology, and radiology generously give their time to showing the students their methods of diagnosing and treating patients.  From the use of a magnetic resonating imaging machine to delicate orthopaedic surgeries, students observe, first-hand, healthcare issues from the clinical practitioners’ perspective.

The CDT programme hopes to shape its students into engineers with a sense of what clinicians need and what patients can tolerate as increasingly intrusive medical technologies are developed to cure illness and disease.

 Student Perspective: Sunali Bhatnagar

“The hospital placement was a good opportunity for us, as students, to quiz the clinical staff about any improvements they would like in their equipment. The clinicians were very enthusiastic in telling us about the improvements that they would like to see. As biomedical engineers, we are well-placed to develop and supply improved medical equipment and the hospital placement gave us the chance to get a better sense of what practicing clinicians need.

Anaesthesia was particularly interesting, as there are a huge number of intricacies involved in the field which are all important to achieve good results.  Whilst watching surgery, we could appreciate how the effective delivery of anaesthesia is dependent on equipment as well as expertise. By the end of the hospital placement, I not only had a useful and real sense of direction for my future work, but my engagement with clinicians in their environment increased my motivation to work to make a difference.”