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Healthcare & Medicine Pathway

Transforming Treatment, 

Changing Lives

Industrial and systems engineering's role in healthcare and medicine is substantial, contributing to increased efficiency, improved patient care, and optimized healthcare systems. Industrial engineers apply systems thinking, process optimization, and data analytics to various aspects of healthcare, such as patient flow, surgical scheduling, and healthcare logistics.

Explore Other Pathways

This pathway is a strong fit for students who:

  • Have a heart for healthcare and improving patient experiences.
  • Want to apply their engineering skills to make healthcare systems more efficient and effective.
  • Enjoy analyzing health data to help make informed, data-driven decisions in patient care.
  • Wish to collaborate with scientists and doctors to solve complex medical challenges.
  • Are motivated by the idea of improving health outcomes and impacting lives through engineering principles.

Example occupations:

  1. Healthcare Systems Engineer
  2. Medical Process Improvement Specialist
  3. Healthcare Data Analyst
  4. Hospital Operations Manager
  5. Clinical Engineering Manager
  6. Health Informatics Specialist
  7. Quality Improvement Coordinator
  8. Medical Logistics Specialist
  9. Medical Equipment Planner
  10. Patient Safety Officer
  11. Industrial Hygienist

Common fields:

  1. Hospitals
  2. Health Systems
  3. Insurance Companies
  4. Healthcare Consulting Firms
  5. Medical Device Companies
  6. Health IT Companies
  7. Pharmaceutical Companies
  8. Healthcare Design Firms
  9. Healthcare Regulatory Agencies

Do I need a graduate degree specializing in this area to be marketable to the field?

No, an undergraduate degree can provide many opportunities, particularly when coupled with experience. That being said, the complexities of healthcare systems often require specialized knowledge, and a graduate specialization in healthcare systems can open doors to advanced roles, and in-depth research opportunities, within healthcare organizations.

What are some examples of real-world areas of application?

Applications of the Healthcare & Medicine Pathway include:

  • Hospital Operations: Streamlining patient flows, optimizing bed allocation, and improving surgical scheduling.
  • Medical Logistics: Efficiently managing the supply chain for medicines, equipment, and other medical resources.
  • Health Data Analytics: Utilizing health data to predict patient needs, improve care, and inform treatment decisions.
  • Telehealth Systems: Designing and optimizing remote healthcare delivery models.
  • Clinical Decision Support: Developing systems that assist healthcare professionals in making informed, evidence-based decisions.

Does this pathway touch on global impact, equity and/or quality of life?

Absolutely. Working within healthcare and medicine provides an opportunity to directly impact global health standards, ensuring equitable access to quality care, and enhancing the quality of life. By optimizing healthcare systems, industrial and systems engineers seeks to ensure that medical services are delivered efficiently and equitably, resulting in better health outcomes and improved patient experiences across the globe.

See how our remarkable alumni are using their ISE degrees in this field.


Jay Kim

Assistant Professor, Oregon State

Read Jay's Story