09 Nov 2016

Fellowship pushes boundaries of medical technologies

The Western Medical Innovation Fellowship was the best thing that could have happened to John Matheson.

“Medical residency was always the goal, but this program is going to be invaluable for my future as a clinician,” he said. “You don’t get the opportunity to stop your clinical training and basically be offered this chance to just innovate for a year.”

As a recent medical school graduate, Matheson is one of the program’s three inaugural fellows. Created in partnership with the Western Bone and Joint’s Collaborative Training Program in Musculoskeletal Health, the 10-and-a-half-month fellowship focuses on developing new medical technologies.

For the first six weeks last summer, the fellows were taught about the business and commercialization side of innovating at the University of Minnesota and Western’s Research Park. Through workshops and a lecture series, the fellows learned everything from how the patenting process works to navigating the regulatory landscape and creating business strategies.

September 2015 was spent immersed in Western’s clinical environment, where they observed procedures and got to know the surgeons better. Since the fellowship’s two focus areas last year were cardiovascular and orthopaedic surgery, the fellows dedicated most of their time to those operating rooms.

This article appeared in Western News.

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