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MD Program

Scholarly Concentrations Program (SCP)

Scholarly Concentrations Program (SCP)

Health Systems Engineering (hseSC)

Health Systems Engineering

It is recognized that the current healthcare system in the United States has major failings and limitations, including: continuous escalation in costs, lack of proper access and coverage, and a high rate of complications, error and waste. This scholarly concentration allows individuals with an interest in "healthcare systems operations" an opportunity to participate in education and applied research on industrial engineering, and fundamental data analysis and optimization principles that apply to healthcare.


Students attend regular group meetings and intensive training sessions. While initially focused on patient safety, concentration activities will subsequently be tailored to the background and interests of the students. Topics covered may include but are not limited to: current challenges of improving patient safety, practical understanding of probability, statistics and data mining, tools and software necessary for system optimization, change management within systems and practical leadership principles for getting things done within organizations. Students will be invited to participate in formal research projects, interact with engineering graduate students and faculty, and work with practicing physicians with a focus on quality improvement. Health Systems Engineering faculty leaders assist students in identifying an advisor and developing a scholarly interest/research project through the next 4 years. A Capstone Project is required; students’ ongoing scholarly interest/research project for this concentration may be used to satisfy this requirement. There is opportunity in this concentration to enroll in the certificates or the Master’s Program.


●        Creation of, and assistance with, in-depth research project on health systems engineering

●        Providing advisors and mentorship for scholarly interest/research projects

●        Becoming “bilingual” through learning and applying fundamental quantitative methods, data analysis, and skills to analyze healthcare data and inform healthcare decision-making process.

Examples of Student Scholarly Work 

“Head & neck cancer patient navigation process improvement at Bay Pines VAHCS”  

“Developing a statistical model to understand and predict outcomes in patients with liver cirrhosis undergoing major surgical procedures”  

“Development and validation of a model to assess functional mobility in lumbar radiculopathy patients”  

“Head & Neck cancer patient navigation process improvement at bay pines VAHCS”

“Prevalence of non-traumatic spinal cord injury and its classification according to etiology at a veterans’ hospital”


Faculty Leadership

Jose Zayas-Castro, PhD
Mingyang Li, PhD
Keith Dombrowski, MD
Adel Elsayed, MD 
Aaron Desai, MD