Clinical needs finding: Developing the virtual experience - A case study

Vaishali Mittal, Megan Thompson, Stuart M. Altman, Peter Taylor, Alexander Summers, Kelsey Goodwin, Angelique Y. Louie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We describe an innovative program at the University of California, Davis for students to engage in clinical needs finding. Using a team-based approach, students participated in clinical rotations to observe firsthand the needs of clinicians at the university affiliated medical center. The teams were asked to develop documentary-style videos to capture key experiences that would allow future viewers to use the videos as "virtual" clinical rotations. This was conceived as a strategy to allow students in prohibitively large classes, or students in programs at institutions without associated medical or veterinary school programs, to experience clinical rotations and perform needs assessments. The students' perspectives on the experience as well as instructor analysis of best practices for this type of activity are presented and discussed. We found that the internship experience was valuable to the students participating, by not only introducing the practice of needs finding but also increasing the students' confidence in the practice of engineering design and their ability to work independently. The videos produced were of such high quality that instructors from other institutions have requested copies for instructional use. Virtual clinical rotations through video experiences may provide a reasonable substitute for students who do not have the ability to participate in rotations in person.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1899-1912
Number of pages14
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • Biomedical Design
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Clinical Rotation
  • Design Education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Clinical needs finding: Developing the virtual experience - A case study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this