Survey of biomedical and health care informatics programs in the United States Public Deposited

Downloadable Content

Download PDF
  • Hemminger, Bradley M.
    • Affiliation: School of Information and Library Science
  • Kampov-Polevoi, Julia
    • Affiliation: School of Information and Library Science
  • Informatics, in the classic definition, is a science that studies “the representation, processing, and communication of information in natural and artificial systems” or, more pragmatically, “a discipline focused on the acquisition, storage, and use of information in a specific setting or domain”, such as health care or biomedical sciences. Informatics is also increasingly described as a profession that is still at the early stages of development. There is continuing self-identification of different subfields of informatics, particularly those related to biomedicine and health care, both as scientific disciplines and as professions. One aspect of defining a profession or a subspecialty within it is establishing a set of agreed upon competencies and corresponding educational curricula. Yet, while the number of programs “with ‘informatics’ in their names” is growing, these programs vary substantially in level and scope. Our survey attempts to provide a snapshot of the current picture of informatics training programs related to biomedicine and health care in the United States. The purpose of the survey is twofold. First, the survey is intended as a resource for students, educators, and informatics professionals. Second, through compiling detailed information about existing educational opportunities, we attempt to contribute to the definitions of various informatics subspecialties. This is the fifth generation of surveys of informatics programs conducted by our research group; previous surveys were published online. The first three surveys, carried out annually in 2002–2004, focused only on bioinformatics programs. In more recent iterations (2006 and current, 2008, versions), we moved to a biannual schedule, but broadened the survey scope to encompass medical, health, nursing, dental, and other related informatics programs. In the latest survey presented in this paper, we have also significantly expanded the information categories used to describe each program and paid special attention to grouping the program listings to better correspond to the various informatics subdisciplines. A number of web resources provide similar information, such as the International Society for Computational Biology's listing of degree and certificate programs or the American Medical Informatics Association's list of training programs. Our survey differs from such resources in several important ways: It cuts across the diversity of biomedical and health informatics subspecialties; it provides specific and detailed information for each program; and it presents the information in a way that facilitates comparison of programs within and between subspecialties.
Date of publication
  • doi:10.3163/1536-5050.98.2.014
Related resource URL
Resource type
  • Article
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
Journal title
  • Journal of the Medical Library Association : JMLA
Journal volume
  • 98
Journal issue
  • 2
Page start
  • 178
Page end
  • 181
  • English
  • Postprint
  • 1536-5050

This work has no parents.