Transitioning from Medical School to Biomedical Engineering

Dear Professor Meulen,

I earned my BS in Public Health, and spent a year in medical school. I did very well academically, but decided medicine was not my desired path. I spent time researching new career paths that would allow me to creatively solve medical problems in cost efficient, scalable ways, and decided biomedical engineering would allow me the skill-set to do just that.

At this time, I am getting ready to start a Biomedical Engineering Masters program this fall, but will need to take some remedial courses to fortify my engineering foundation. With that said, can you recommend a book that illustrates some of the more important engineering concepts in a concise "review/workbook-like" fashion? I don't expect the book to be a primary teaching source, but rather, I would like it to provide a quick overview of the concept and a problem with the solution explained. My hope is to use this book as a familiar reference throughout my masters program.

Also, I found a nice online learning resource for Statics through Carnegie Mellon. Do you happen to know of any good online/videos resources for Statics, Dynamics, Fluid Mechanics, and Strength of Materials? I'm happy to pay for good material, but there are many choices. I used Kaplan videos in medical school, and it made a world of difference. Do you know of a good set of engineering videos?

Thank you very much for your time an consideration.
Have a great day,

Jackie
posted by Jackie, San Luis Obispo on June 15, 2014

Answer by Marjolein van der Meulen

Jackie: 

Wow, tough question, and I don't have a good answer for you.  The subjects you list (Statics, Dynamics, Fluid Mechanics and Strength of Materials) together form much of the core of the undergraduate mechanical engineering major and each is generally at least a semester-long course.  I was an undergraduate mechanical engineering major so have a book (or two) on each subject.  As such I am not familiar with any concise review books, but imagine they must exist. These subjects also are taught online as MOOCs on sites such as EdX.  First you should make sure that your math skills, particularly calculus and differential equations, are up-to-par, and you might also need some programming tools such as as MATLAB. I know that MIT offers statics on EdX, see 2.01x; Mechanical Engineering is Course 2 at MIT.  The Khan Academy covers some of these topics in short videos in the Physics subject material. When I co-taught statics a couple years ago, we used "Statics and Mechanics of Materials" by Beer & Johnston, which is a good text and has lots of examples worked out, but is definitely not a concise review.  Good luck with your transition and MS degree.  

M.