INNOVATIVE EDUCATION

EnMed's First Class

EnMed’s inaugural class convened in summer 2019
EnMed inaugural class 2023
The 25 students in EnMed's inaugural class are on track to earn an MD and master's in engineering in four years.
The inaugural class of 25 EnMed students convened on the Houston Methodist campus and began the first course of this innovative medical school track, "Introduction to Engineering in Health Care," in August 2019. EnMed leadership is delighted with the impressive cohort that comprises the nation’s first and only program designed to offer both an MD and a master’s in engineering in four years—a collaborative endeavor between Texas A&M’s College of Engineering, College of Medicine and Houston Methodist. Meet two students who offer insight into what it takes to place among EnMed’s first class of ”physicianeers.” While the inaugural class of 25 students brings a great variety of backgrounds and interests, they all share a commitment to serving others as they graduate with both an MD and master’s in engineering in 2023.
West Point grad Kenneth Sims has always chased challenges. Whether gathering the strength to get through early morning exercise, finding time to study for the MCAT or pursuing a dream that sometimes felt distant, Sims has never backed away from challenges. With the strong work ethic his parents instilled in him, Sims knew he wanted to lead a life that would make a difference.

Inspired by his mechanical engineer father and West Point’s top-notch engineering program, Sims found it easy to pick a challenging major in mechanical engineering. Yet he always sensed he would study medicine and knew engineering had unique advantages and perspectives for those going into the medical field. When Sims heard about EnMed, he knew it was the perfect fit for him.

“EnMed was exactly what I had hoped for, but didn’t even know it existed,” Sims said. “It’s a breeding ground for innovators.” Looking forward, Sims hopes to apply his foundation in innovation to taking care of patients.

“I will become a military physician and prioritize taking care of soldiers and their families,” said Sims. “I want to integrate innovation throughout my career, and the EnMed program will help me do that naturally. At the end of the day, I do this because I love people and I love my country.”
– Brittany Miller, October 2019
Cailin O’Connell believes in following her passions and letting the accolades come in their own time. And for O’Connell, her varied passions have met at a unique intersection of engineering, medicine and serving people—with her acceptance into the EnMed program.

“I love having multiple interests and being able to explore and combine them in unique ways,” said O’Connell. “I really wanted to hold onto the engineering side of my education because I love problem-solving, and this program gives a unique opportunity to continue that.”

O’Connell hopes to use the knowledge from her nuclear engineering background at Texas A&M University to advance technology-related fields.

“I am interested in pediatric oncology, and I would really like to take part in creating specialized treatments for children,” she said. “With my background in nuclear engineering, imaging is on my mind as a way to tie into oncology.”

O’Connell, whose commitment is rooted in serving people, states, “What keeps me going is intrinsic motivation and having the grit to push forward. When it gets tough, I recall my deep calling to help people, and think of all the people who could be in my care in the future.”
Cailin O'Connell, EnMed Class of 2023, earned her BS in Nuclear Engineering from Texas A&M University in 2019.
Kenneth Sims earned his BS in Mechanical Engineering from The U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 2019.
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