University of Rhode Island
Online Journal for Global Engineering Education
The availability and accessibility of appropriate rehabilitative healthcare, medical technology and treatment is an important national and international issue of particular relevance due to recent national healthcare reform initiatives. The focus of this project was to increase global competencies and awareness among biomedical engineers of the differing rehabilitative healthcare needs in North America via student exchange with consortium institutions in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The aim was to increase understanding of alternative healthcare delivery systems with respect to technology and interaction with diverse client populations in a clinical setting and to enhance the development and technology transfer of new scientific tools and techniques, medical devices, and related biomedical research. To date, more than 50 undergraduates have expressed interest in these programs, with over 30 students completing applications, and travel awards extended to 18 students (16 of whom opted to participate in study abroad experiences). Assessment tools included: a healthcare survey, two case study reports, global perspectives inventory documenting cultural differences, cultural comforts and the campus environment for culture and cultural tolerance, and interviews of the exchange participants and faculty research mentors by the external program evaluator.