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Proceedings Paper

Public attitudes and perception of bio- and biomedical engineering
Author(s): Yadin B. David; Charles S. Lessard; Nicole Ledoux; Curtis Neason; Richard Rhodes; Edwin Shih; Cameron Smallwood
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Paper Abstract

Bioengineering professionals practice in a wide variety of subspecialties. Their practices vary from cellular engineering to rehabilitation engineering, and from biomaterial/biomechanics engineering to biomedical education. A major part of the bloengineering field is the one represented by the biomedical engineering professionals of which about 10% practice in the clinical engineering subspecialty focusing on issues involving utilization of technology in the delivery of health care services. Common to these subspecialties, being part of the bioengineering field, is the application of the concepts and methods of the physical and engineering sciences to enhance the development and deployment of safe and effective medical instrumentation. Like all of the other subspecialties clinical engineering, the applied field of biomedical engineering, faces poor public knowledge and lack of recognition for the contributions their professionals have made thus marking a path to improve the quality of our life. Engineering academia is not faring much better than the lay public in their lack of developing and offering of academic programs that will provide the training and skills needed to prepare these professionals for the challenges and responsibilities they will be facing when practicing in the clinical environment. At the root of this problem are the perception and attitude issues. To better understand these attitude and behavior issues we reviewed literature and conducted opinion surveys. In recent years, bioengineers, biomedical, and clinical engineering fields have sought an identity to define their profession. Like many other young professions, bio/biomedical engineering has encountered a professional identity crisis that presents more questions than answers. One issue in defining a profession is the presentation of some clearly illustrated assets and abilities supported by a formal education or accreditation requirements to a targeted customer. In other words, biomedical engineers must define who they are, what they profess to know, and what function they serve to many customers of which the important one is the general public.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 October 1995
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 2499, Health Care Technology Policy II: The Role of Technology in the Cost of Health Care: Providing the Solutions, (27 October 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.225347
Show Author Affiliations
Yadin B. David, Texas Children's Hospital (United States)
Charles S. Lessard, Texas A&M Univ. (United States)
Nicole Ledoux, Texas A&M Univ. (United States)
Curtis Neason, Texas A&M Univ. (United States)
Richard Rhodes, Texas A&M Univ. (United States)
Edwin Shih, Texas A&M Univ. (United States)
Cameron Smallwood, Texas A&M Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2499:
Health Care Technology Policy II: The Role of Technology in the Cost of Health Care: Providing the Solutions
Warren S. Grundfest, Editor(s)

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