What is the Medical Futures Lab?

Medicine is in the midst of a shift never before seen.  Information and technology are advancing at rates faster than our ability to adapt.  Technological changes along with the social force of the Health 2.0 movement are conspiring to redefine the role of the physician.  The physician of 2050 will think and work in a way that can only be imagined by the current generation.  But we are effectively unprepared to deal with what lies ahead.

The Medical Futures Lab (MFL) is a center dedicated to the study and understanding of medicine at its evolving intersection with technology.  Our goal is to imagine and predict the future of medicine as a means of preparing the next generation of physicians for the challenges that lie ahead.

The MFL is bringing the undergraduates of the Rice University together with humanist scholars, computer scientists, creative designers, medical students and doctors from both University of Texas Health Science Center and Baylor College of Medicine.  Our portfolio will emerge to include a suite of courses, design studios, media experiments, continuing medical education courses, and an annual symposium.

As medicine becomes increasingly reductive, we believe that the most remarkable medical disruptions will arise from the type of system thinking cultivated through the MFL.  By drawing input from different disciplines we will leverage our collective capabilities to identify core problems, create critical dialog, fashion innovative solutions, and cultivate new patterns of thinking while fostering a uniquely creative academic culture.  This innovative program will bring the voices of the next generation of medical leaders into the dialogue about medicine’s future by asking, ‘how should medicine look in 2050?’

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