Today I was fortunate enough to have lunch with fourteen biomedical engineers at a hospital in Pennsylvania.
While I was there we all engaged in a discussion about the challenges that biomedical engineers face and at one point the conversation came around to discussing: What is the biggest challenge that new biomedical engineers face?
One person spoke up without any hesitation, and said it’s common for new biomedical engineers to worry that they're going to damage a piece of equipment and so they’ve afraid to roll up their sleeves and get to work on trying to fix it.
He advised that new biomedical engineers should not worry about the value of the equipment. It’s already broken so you can’t break it twice.
The conversation continued about what was a biomedical engineer's most valuable tool and one person suggested it was the experience — and the many years of trial and error — they had accumulated throughout their career.
Another held in his hand a small screwdriver and said that was his most valuable tool.
There was a little bit of discussion about user error and everyone had a slightly different view, depending on which type of equipment they serviced, as to whether or not users were the biggest problem causers.
It only goes to show that even though science continues to move forward there’s still no substitute for experience and there's still no substitute for rolling up your sleeves to get the job done.
Phil is a member of AHRA, HFMA, AAMI and the Cryogenic Society of America. He has contributed to a number of magazines and journals and has addressed trade groups.
Phil's proudest achievement is that he has been happily married to his wife Barbara since 1989, who helped him found DOTmed in 1998.