MEDTEC School is the new international degree course in Medicine at Humanitas University and Politecnico di Milano. A course that integrates and enhances the skills of the surgeon with the typical skills of Biomedical Engineering and that, for characteristics and duration, is now unique in the world.

Medicine of precision, gene therapies, artificial intelligence, neuro-robotics and big data: these are just some of the topics that future doctors will increasingly have to deal with on a daily basis and that they must be able to manage in the best possible way for the good of the patient.

Course and objectives

The new degree course, in English, offers an innovative 6-year course created ad hoc by the professors of Humanitas University and the Polytechnic. The aim is to train the doctors to fully understand and consciously manage the advanced technologies that characterize – and will increasingly characterize in the future – the medical profession, to offer patients innovative and personalized care. At the end of their studies, medical graduates can apply to the Polytechnic for a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering, and then continue according to their vocation: in medical practice in schools of specialization, in medical research and engineering with technical PhDs or directly in industry.

A new building inside the Humanitas University Campus

With 50 places available per year, MEDTEC School will be housed in a new building, a space that can also reflect architecturally and in the organization of spaces, the integration of Medicine and Engineering characteristic of the course: open and modular laboratories, which connect with the classrooms where the frontal lessons take place, will promote the exchange of knowledge and communication between students and teachers of different disciplines.

The new building will be located on the Humanitas University Campus, green and hi-tech, with one of the most advanced Simulation Centres in Europe. The construction is supported by an important private donation, exactly like the Mario Luzzatto Simulation Center. The proximity to the hospital and research laboratories creates a fertile ground and represents an added value for the growth of new professionals. Humanitas, a highly specialized polyclinic considered one of the most technologically advanced hospitals in Europe, is a real teaching laboratory where MEDTEC School students will have the opportunity to enter from the beginning of their path.

The challenges in Life Sciences

“In the field of Life Sciences, great challenges lie ahead: the aging of the population, the impact of innovation, accessibility and sustainability of national systems of care and assistance – explains Gianfelice Rocca, President of Humanitas -. In a social context of increasing complexity, MEDTEC School was created to respond to these challenges by training professionals able to manage and exploit technology for the benefit of an increasingly humane, innovative and sustainable medicine.

The convergence of Medicine and Engineering is in fact one of the major factors of future development, and Milan and Lombardy are the driving force that can make Italy the driving force behind an avant-garde and accessible to all, leveraging existing skills and their synergy.

MEDTEC School, born from the collaboration between two institutions such as Humanitas University and Politecnico di Milano, is a flagship for the Lombard territory, which has always been a privileged place of partnership between public and private at the service of the citizen. The innovative didactic approach, combined with clinical training in a large teaching hospital such as Humanitas and the international character of our University, make it unique on the European and global scene”.

“The great international technical universities, such as Stanford or Imperial College, have identified life sciences and precision medicine as the future of advanced technologies and data science. In the same way, the Politecnico di Milano has identified medicine, health and wellbeing as one of the major challenges to face in the coming years. These are also key challenges for providing the country with the skills and knowledge necessary for the growth of our graduates. This is the vision behind the new training proposal, presented by the Politecnico di Milano and Humanitas, to create a new professional figure capable of combining medical and engineering skills,” said Ferruccio Resta, Rector of the Politecnico di Milano.

Technologies in Medicine

In the past decades, the role of technologies in medicine had a significant impact on the path of care of patients, from diagnosis to therapy, contributing to the increase in both expectations and quality of life. The training of doctors must therefore also be adapted and enriched with new skills.

“Medical innovation improves the quality of life, but we must find a model that guarantees its sustainability. That is why it is important to act from the very beginning of the training of young people” – says Professor Marco Montorsi, rector of Humanitas University. “In fact, it is essential to develop new skills to deal with situations of increasing complexity that may redesign the role of the doctor and his relationship with the patient, supported by technology. An innovative didactic approach that combined with field training, also possible thanks to the Humanitas hospital that is very close by, and the international character of our University, make this course unique in the European and global panorama”.

An innovative didactic approach

The course is based on the unique didactic approach of Humanitas University and Politecnico di Milano, which involves the use of interactive methodologies, such as Research-Based Learning, Problem-Based Learning, Case Method and portfolio of skills. The team of academic representatives has developed it: Prof. Maria Laura Costantino, President of the MEDTEC School degree course and lecturer in Biomedical Engineering at the Politecnico di Milano, Prof. Maurizio Cecconi, Vice President of the MEDTEC School degree course, Head of Anesthesia and Intensive Care at Humanitas and lecturer in Anesthesiology at Humanitas University, Prof. M. M. C., President of the MEDTEC School degree course and lecturer in Biomedical Engineering at the Politecnico di Milano. Stefano Duga, Director of the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Professor of Molecular Biology at Humanitas University and Prof. Andrea Aliverti, Coordinator of the PhD course in Bioengineering and Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the Politecnico di Milano. The link between medical and engineering education develops along the entire training path thanks to an alternation of attendance between Humanitas University and the Politecnico di Milano. In the first 3 years of the course, in fact, the frequency of lessons is scheduled in alternating semesters in the two locations, while in the following 3 years it provides courses and modules taught by Politecnico professors at Humanitas University, in order to ensure a full integration of engineering skills in the clinical training path, thanks to the co-tutoring by Politecnico professors in some of the professionalizing activities typical of the preparation of the doctor.