Medical Informatics Explodes as New Science

The Department of Health and Human Services announced in November that it would give out $80 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to help colleges and universities develop health information technology courses. Already, some 40 to 50 master’s degree and Ph.D.-level medical informatics programs operate in the United States, says William Hersh, chair of the Department of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. And there are a handful of informatics fellowships for people who want further training, such as those offered through the National Library of Medicine and the Veterans Administration.

The aims, goals, and structures of the graduate programs vary widely, but Hersh says all emphasize bridging information technology and medicine. “The technical people like that I know the clinical stuff, and vice versa,” says Julie Eckstrand, a research informaticist at the Duke University Health System in Durham, North Carolina.

There is no traditional training path into medical informatics, notes Eric Perhaslis, vice president for research and development informatics at Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development L.L.C. in Titusville, New Jersey. In fact, if you talk to 10 people in medical informatics, you’ll probably hear 10 different stories about how they got there. Physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and computer engineers all find their way into the field.

Yep. that’s why we’re doing it 🙂 visit the link to see two case studies

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