FGCU Students Visit Arthrex As Part of New Medical Device Industry Course
Arthrex is giving college students a comprehensive look at the inner workings of the medical device industry during its first collaborative course with Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) this semester.
The class is also the university’s first to offer a pathway to micro-credentialing, which is a certification or “badge” awarded to students who demonstrate the core competencies relevant to the course, which also makes them stand out as job candidates to potential employers. All students who complete the program will receive course credit on their transcripts, but earning the additional micro-credential shows that they’ve gone above and beyond. Course instructor and Associate Dean for Academics Shawn Felton, EdD, LAT, ATC, calls the earned badges a “stamp of success for hiring companies.”
“I believe this is truly going to set our graduates apart and help students excel in their careers,” said Dr. Felton.
The program is a product of the continued partnership between the university and Arthrex, which is headquartered just 17 miles south of FGCU’s campus and currently employs approximately 110 alumni. Following Arthrex Day in January, Dr. Felton, Aysegul Timur, PhD, (vice president and vice provost of strategy and program innovation at FGCU) and multiple Arthrex team members saw the potential value of providing a course that teaches students about the wide variety of opportunities in this industry, and at Arthrex in particular.
While the course created in partnership with Clemson University (near Arthrex Manufacturing Inc. South Carolina) in 2019 prepares students for careers as Technology Consultants who educate health care professionals about our products and techniques and represent Arthrex innovation in the operating room, the FGCU program educates students on several aspects of the medical device industry.
“The focus of the FGCU program is to provide interested students a detailed understanding of Arthrex and the medical device industry,” said Senior Director of Corporate Communications Dennis O’Keefe. “The hope is that the students leave with a knowledge base that will best prepare them for a future career at Arthrex or a clinical role using Arthrex technology.”
Thirty-three students who are primarily upperclassmen are currently enrolled in the course, which is open to all students regardless of major. Since the beginning of the semester, the students have heard presentations from Strategic Development, Product Design, Quality/Regulatory, Orthopedic Research, Supply Chain, Marketing Communications, Meetings and Events, Product Management, Legal, Compliance and Medical Education. Later in the semester, the students will also hear from National Sales Optimization, Human Resources, Health Care Relations, Learning and Development, Senator Rick Scott and Arthrex President and Founder Reinhold Schmieding.
The course is typically held at FGCU, but on Monday, September 21, students attended class at Arthrex One to allow them an opportunity to see the global headquarters campus firsthand. This session was a product showcase, where product managers from each of Arthrex’s product teams spoke about their work, their diverse teams and the experiences that led them to their current roles.
“I wasn’t a scientist or a physician’s assistant,” said Imaging Product Manager Ryan Kellar. “My path is proof that Arthrex gives team members numerous opportunities to learn and grow.”
Team members sharing their unique educational and vocational backgrounds was an important aspect of the product showcase according to Dr. Felton. He said, “Beyond the importance of getting an insight into the medical device industry, I also want students to see the value and importance of continuous learning.”
The group will visit Arthrex facilities again later in the semester when they tour the manufacturing floor at AMIE, the Arthrex Logistics Center (ALC) and the labs and other facilities in the Inc. building to give them a full picture of the company’s operations.
“I think it’s incredible that the Arthrex team is taking time out of their busy schedules to provide a class like this,” wrote one of the students in an anonymous reflection about the session. “I think it shows that the company is interested in developing and recruiting people who are truly interested in the field. Just like the company is heavily invested in helping patients, Arthrex is equally invested in their employees. It’s exciting to have access to a class of this magnitude.”
Dr. Felton believes Arthrex has been the best possible partner for creating this course, which is the first-of-its-kind in multiple ways.
“We worked together [with Arthrex] to develop a curriculum that would be beneficial to both students and to Arthrex by developing a pool of fantastic job candidates,” said Dr. Felton. “The team at Arthrex has really given us their all, just like the FGCU team tackles projects. I’m excited to continue building on this program.”
After the course curriculum was developed, Arthrex leadership realized that this would double as a great opportunity for Arthrex team members to learn more about the industry in which we work. A select group of Arthrex employees have recently begun an internal version of the course called “Arthrex Cross Training.”
There are currently 63 employees enrolled in the pilot program, which will conclude this winter.
Read Drs. Timur and Felton's description of the course, recently published in the News-Press.