Innovation & Entrepreneurship

In the OR and beyond, surgeons combine technical skill with creative problem-solving to continually improve tools and techniques for patient care. That’s why we measure the pace of life-saving innovations in years, not decades.

At the U-M Department of Surgery, we take the spirit of discovery seriously. We have created courses around surgical innovation and entrepreneurship that have become a national model for its reach and results.

Our courses feature:

  • Learning across all levels, from medical students to senior faculty, including a formal curriculum for medical student education in innovation.
  • A focus on teamwork within entrepreneurship, including a first-of-its-kind 9-month course for surgical faculty to develop novel medical solutions.
  • Partnerships with faculty in business and biomedical engineering, fostering relationships to solve medical problems together and bring new products to market.
  • Leadership for innovation and entrepreneurship within the department through a dedicated associate chair position.

We aim to change the field of academic surgery by fostering an environment where surgeons are encouraged to develop new products and ideas.

Education Opportunities

The University of Michigan and Michigan Medicine are investing in continued advances by providing training programs beginning at the undergraduate medical education level. Programs include:

  • Medical Students: The UMMS Pathway of Excellence track, directed by Dr. Mark S. Cohen, introduces students to skills they’ll need to advance their own ideas as clinical innovators and gives them experience in pitching their ideas in a “shark tank”-style competition.
  • Residents: Residents have the chance to complete a Surgical Innovation track during their Academic Development Time. They are also able to participate in the Department of Surgery's SIDAC program. They can also apply to the CBATS Surgeon Scientist Accelerator Track for lab technician support following their ADT time.
  • Fellows: The Pediatric Surgery Innovation Fellowship led by Dr. James D. Geiger that focuses on bringing new medical devices or services to commercialization by partnering with the Michigan Pediatric Device Consortium.
  • Faculty: The department’s own Surgical Innovation Development Accelerator Course (SIDAC) is a course for faculty and trainees to receive space and support to explore ideas that will improve surgical diseases or the care of surgical patients. A shorter version of the course, the Michigan Surgical Innovation Accelerator (MSIA), is also available.

The Center for Entrepreneurship and Fast Forward Medical Innovation group at the University of Michigan also provides several education opportunities and courses in the innovation and entrepreneurship sphere available to medical students, residents, and faculty members. A Biomedical Engineering Design course and Global Health Design internship are also offered by the University of Michigan for those interested in innovation and entrepreneurship.

Learn More

Discover the groundbreaking Surgical Innovation Development Accelerator Course (SIDAC) and Michigan Surgical Innovation Accelerator (MSIA).

Get to know key collaborators and groups who are leaders in innovation throughout the University of Michigan and who frequently partner with us for our innovation courses.