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Title:Alternative Approaches to Educating Medical Informationists
Author(s):Detlefsen, Ellen; Hersh, William; Schardt, Connie M.; Wildemuth, Barbara M.
Subject(s):medical informationists
graduate education
Abstract:Because the information world of medical professionals is complex and ever-expanding, a new set of information professionals is needed to serve as a liaison between that world of information and the world of medicine. Davidoff and Florance [1] raised many of these issues when they proposed the concept of the “informationist” – someone who possesses both clinical knowledge and information retrieval skills and expertise. The Institute of Medicine [7] also underscored the need for evidence-based information in the reduction of errors and the delivery of quality care, and identified the need for more training of clinicians in informatics skills and knowledge. Several alternative approaches to educating medical informationists have been proposed and/or field tested. One approach is to train librarians to become informationists. To illustrate this approach, Detlefsen [2] presented a case study of someone with an MLIS degree who uses Vanderbilt’s on-the-job training program to gain additional medical expertise and move into an informationist position in an academic setting. She also encourages medical librarians to consider augmenting their training with a degree or certificate in medical informatics [3]. This is also the approach used at the NIH Library [8]. A second approach is to educate informationists through biomedical informatics programs like the one at the Oregon Health Sciences University [4]. A third approach is the AMIA 10x10 combination of a single course plus a one-day face-to-face session, covering a range of topics in medical informatics and related areas [6]. A fourth approach has been implemented through a dual degree program offered at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) and Duke University [5]. In this program, medical students from Duke use their third year to complete the master’s degree in information science at UNC. During this roundtable discussion, proponents of these alternative approaches will be available to describe the advantages of the approach with which they’re most familiar, and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each approach. This roundtable will be of interest to all those involved in medical/health informatics education, or planning related programs. In this informal discussion setting, participants will be able to express their concerns and share their experiences.
Issue Date:2009-02-08
Genre:Conference Paper / Presentation
Date Available in IDEALS:2010-04-12

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