Create medical devices and machines.
What does a Biomedical Engineer do?
Biomedical Engineers design and develop medical devices. Remember the 1970s television series “The Six Million Dollar Man,” about a former Astronaut who is rebuilt after a devastating accident, courtesy of a $6 million operation that replaces three limbs and one eye with bionic implants? For the rest of us, it’s science fiction. But for a Biomedical Engineer, the bionic man is fact.
That’s because as a Biomedical Engineer, you use your combined knowledge of biology, medicine, and technology to create devices like prosthetic limbs, artificial organs, and metal joint replacements, as well as hospital instruments like X-ray machines, surgical lasers, and heart-lung machines.
Like all Engineers—including those who design buildings and machines—you’re a detail-oriented person who spends your days studying technology, drafting designs, and making scientific calculations in order to solve problems. In your case, those problems are both medical and manufacturing in nature. If you’re designing a radiation therapy machine, for instance, you’re striving to treat cancer and create a more efficient, cost-effective piece of equipment at the same time.
In addition to designing medical devices, your job is testing them, which typically means overseeing laboratory and clinical trials, then revising your designs based on the results in order to make sure they’re as safe and effective as possible.
Besides the Wizard in “The Wizard of Oz,” you have perhaps the only job in the world where you can manufacture a heart for someone who lacks one!