Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Better Ideas

  • If you want to invent a device or procedure to solve unmet medical needs,
  • If you envision bringing better methods of patient care to life,
  • If you want to learn to navigate the health care business ecosystem,
  • If you enjoy the rewards of participating on a multidisciplinary team,

... then this path is for you.

Researcher works on computer

Students gain core knowledge of what it takes to successfully bring an idea to life. They explore the transformational role physician-innovators can have on health care through the creation of novel devices, diagnostics, therapeutics, IT or policy advances. For students who are passionate about improving health care through innovation, the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Path of Excellence provides the resources, perspective and exposure to explore all aspects of this career choice.

Through this Path, students learn to:

  • Work on teams including faculty, staff and other students from engineering, law, business and other health professions
  • Understand the regulatory process of innovation development
  • Use new strategies and tools to improve the accessibility, quality and equity of medical care
  • Creatively discover, examine and address patients’ needs in mentored teams
  • Perform market analysis and needs assessments for their innovation to advance medical knowledge and health care application
  • Present ideas to different audiences, including potential investors, in TED-style and chalk-talk formats
  • Take conceptual designs to working prototypes
  • Think critically; objectively evaluate feedback given by advisors, faculty, peers and patients; and adapt design accordingly


Through a series of didactic and integrative experiences during the M1-M2 years, students develop a knowledge base of topics and competencies important for navigating the innovation and entrepreneurial environment.

As part of the Path, students will complete a capstone project of their choice, upon approval, aligned with one of four specialties:

  • Medical Innovation and Research (which includes therapeutics and diagnostics)
  • Product Development
  • Health Information Technology and Optimization
  • Health Care Operations and Management

Students begin developing their capstone projects after the M1 year and will have through the M4 year to complete it.

This new pathway is an exciting opportunity to develop the innovative potential of our medical students and engage them in the transformative culture of innovation developing across the University and championed by the Fast Forward Medical Innovation program. By creating meaningful educational opportunities, this unique program will help develop creative physician-innovators who can have significant impact on the future of patient care.

Mark Cohen, MD, FACS, Associate Professor of Surgery and Pharmacology, Associate Chair in Surgery for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Co-founder of NanoPharm LLC and Scarab Therapeutics, and Director of the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Path