Business and Innovation in Medicine

Course Faculty

Ali Zarrinpar

Ali Zarrinpar MD, PhD

Nikolaus Gravenstein

Nikolaus Gravenstein MD

Jerome H. Modell, MD, Professor Of Anesthesiology; Professor Of Neurosurgery And Periodontology
Blanka Sharma

Blanka Sharma


Student Limit of 15


The Business and Innovation in Medicine track is vital to providing UF students with the insights and tools to recognize and pursue improvement opportunities and medical inventions. This track is intended to prepare medical students to participate in one of the key movements in American healthcare: discovering innovative ways to improve the safety, timeliness, effectiveness, respectfulness, efficiency, and equity of medical care. There is a growing intersection between medicine and innovative business with medical devices, technology, health entrepreneurship, and the pharmaceutical industry. We propose a new track to develop physicians who are capable of “managing hospitals, shaping public policy, launching health care-related entrepreneurial ventures, balancing medical needs with economic realities, reducing costs to patients while increasing quality, and applying engineering to medicine to produce the best medical devices” [Harvard’s MD/MBA Mission Statement]. A track that is focused on developing entrepreneurial and business skills will provide an additional area of growth for medical students at UF and address the global need to produce more innovation-minded physicians with core values of integrity and compassion.

This track would allow UF to keep up with programs like USF’s Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Business in Medicine scholarly concentration for its medical students, as well as with top medical schools such as Ohio State University and UNC-Chapel Hill. As we have a top ranking graduate business school (Top 20 Public) and a top ranking medical school (Top 20 Public), it is a missed opportunity to not be able to recruit the best business-minded medical students in the country. At UF, we have the opportunity to leverage the world-renowned physicians at UF; the Gator Hatchery, a free resource dedicated to fostering all student entrepreneurs; and the city of Gainesville, the fourth-highest city on record in the US of commercialization of ideas and one the most cost-effective cities to have a start-up. Students can have the opportunity to observe and learn from real startups in Gainesville through UF Innovate such as Exactech, AGTC, and Axogen; providing potential mentorship and inspiration for future careers. Ultimately, this track will not only enhance future physicians ability to identify current and future needs in medicine, but will also provide the fundamental understanding required to develop innovative healthcare solutions that can lead to improved patient outcomes.

Overall Goals and Objectives

  1. To identify and implement the basics of entrepreneurial business and innovative practices used in the medical field.
  2. To critically analyze and develop the application of innovative medical technologies to patient care.
  3. To demonstrate the tenets of developing innovative ideas, formation of a business plan/proposal, and steps for commercialization.
  4. To prepare students to work within interdisciplinary teams and to give them the tools to become future physician innovators.


  1. Attendance of 75% of all seminars throughout the track.
    1. There will be 5-6 seminars per semester. Seminars will cover various business and innovation topics: business finance, business plan development, patent law, ethics, FDA regulations, testing and implementation of developed products, etc.
  2. Complete a Capstone Project that is appropriate for the goals of this Discovery Track.
    1. The Capstone Project will be developed within an interdisciplinary team consisting of a medical student(s) and Biomedical Engineer(s). The identification and completion of this project will be in collaboration with the Track Leaders.
    2. The Capstone project will be expected to lead into the development of a manuscript, prototype, or a visible understanding and appreciation of the design process and related fundamentals of innovation determined by the team mentor/track leader.

Timeline for Completion of Key Milestones

Optional: MS-1 (Fall Semester)

  1. Participate in the Biomedical Engineering Master’s course (Clinical Immersion – BME 6010) if interested in starting early.
    1. This option is for students who would prefer an early exposure to lectures given by the Department of Biomedical Engineering. This would also allow students to begin working towards their team recruitment and Capstone Project.

MS-1 (Spring Semester)

  1. Attend introductory group seminar to discuss objectives, mutual areas of interest, development of individualized plans, etc.
  2. Attend 75% of seminar meetings:
    1. Intro to Innovation (Dr. Gravenstein) – Introduce the idea of doing an MSRP to start the capstone early or wait until 3rd/4th year. Starting early would allow for increased mentorship (from pre-selected mentors), for team recruitment and allow increased project longevity.
    2. Local Entrepreneurs in Gainesville (Exactech, etc.)
    3. Design Process Lecture
    4. Introduction to Patents (OTL Office)
    5. Introduction to Starting a Business (Warrington)
    6. Intro to FDA and regulations (Engineering Innovation Institute)
    7. UF BME resources / Introduction to working with Masters students
    8. Ethics in Innovation
    9. ~4 lectures from Warrington Business school – Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center; finance, plan development, etc.
    10. Lecture / Tour from UF Innovate Hub
    11. Lecture / Tour from UF Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator

MS-1 (Summer Semester)

  1. Medical Student Research Program (MSRP): Capstone project (track option)
    1. This option is for early mentorship and team recruitment for the beginning of a Capstone Project. The optional MS1 Summer MSRP will allow for students to start their Capstone Project early which will allow for extended mentorship, team recruitment and extensive project development. The goal of this option is to increase idea development and production leading to possible testing and implementation.

MS-2 (Fall Semester)

  1. Attend seminar meetings
    1. See lecture topics listed above (MS-1 Spring Semester)
  2. Continue Capstone project

MS-2 (Spring Semester)

  1. Attend seminar meetings:
    1. See lecture topics listed above (MS-1 Spring Semester)
  2. Continue Capstone project


  1. Start/Continue work with Engineering student(s) to develop and implement Capstone idea.


  1. Work with Engineering student(s) to develop, implement and present/document Capstone.
  2. Conclude Capstone in either developing the idea further or handing it off to an incoming team and/or physician leader.
  3. Capstone must be completed before graduation.

Established Partners:

  • The UF Biomedical Engineering Department
  • The UF Warrington Business School – Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center
  • The UF Engineering Innovation Institute
  • The UF Innovation Hub
  • The UF Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator
  • Exactech Inc.