Health Informatics Discussion Forum

New member With a Degree in Informatics Need Advice

Hi Health Informatics Community,i am new here and I have found the site by searching through the topic of health informatics,and in my opinion is a gold mine for someone who wants to find more about health informatics.I've been reading through the blogs and forums the last days and i have answered many of my questions ,but a few remain.

I have a bachelor in Informatics (computer technology) and i was thinking of continuing my studies with a master in health informatics.I am currently in a dilemma of what to do and what to choose.I am a bit confused because i mostly see students with a healthcare degree get involved in the field of health informatics and i was thinking it would be a bad choice for someone who has a background of computer technology to get in this field and it would be better for him to chase and pursue other paths and doing a different master. What is your opinion,is it a good choice?what would you recommend?

Also in the field of health informatics and bioinformatics,i see lots of specializations,which would be more appropriate for someone like me?Which is the best path to follow?Also which university is better to attend & which course?I'm not interested in an online degree as i see many universities offer only online courses for health informatics.

Sorry for asking to much.

Any reply & advice would be much appreciated!

Thanks

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Replies

  • Hello,

    Coming into the field of Health Informatics with computer technology is usually an easy switch. I came into the field with a background in Information Systems and it hasn't been difficult. Graduate health informatics courses usually have some healthcare courses so by the time you finish with the program you will have some good knowledge in healthcare. But you have to be willing to read a lot and ask a lot of questions in your health centred classes. I am still learning but it's actually a lot of fun. It's seems easier for me to go over the health hurdle than the computer technology. Regarding choice of Health Informatics or Bioinformatics; well that depends on your interest. If you have interest in genetics and all those areas, then that's the field for you. However if you are interested in main stream health IT then HI is best for you. A number of universities offer graduate courses in all these areas. Some even concentrate in Dental Informatics, Clinical Informatics, Nursing Informatics etc.

    Decide on what you want to do with the degree. That should guide your choice.

    You didn't mention where in the world you are but there are lot of institutions. Follow this URL. You will be provided with a long list of HI programs in the US. http://www.himss.org/ASP/academicDirectory.asp

    Good luck in you decision.

     

    • Thanks Baaba for the reply.

      Is it considered having a master on health informatics,a good choice from someone who comes from the computer technology?

      I am from Greece and i was thinking for having a master in US.I think US has a lot of career potential of health informatics and jobs too.Am I right?Which country has a more developed system on health informatics?

      Also I have found this speciality Health Informatics Specialist/Manager.What do you think of?Which are more appropriate for someone like me?Because i think Dental Informatics, Clinical Informatics, Nursing Informatics you mention are more appropriate for someone who comes from the healthcare.

      Thanks again for your reply my friend :)

      • The US has a lot of programs to choose from and so it'll be a good place to find a program. Again, the speciality area you choose really depends on your interest. A lot of the programs eg Dental Informatics etc will not really require you to be a dentist. the computer science degree is enough. Health Informatics does open more avenues after training because it's a broader field. Which ever area you choose, since you don't have a healthcare background you have to be willing to learn a lot so that you can apply the computer science knowledge to whatever area in health you find yourself. The most important thing is understanding how the health care delivery systems work.

        Read a lot and look at job openings for Informatics specialists. That will give you an idea of what you'll be doing after graduation. There are lot of resources on this forum, AMIA website,  HIMSS and AHIMA and many others. Read, read, read. The UK also has some good programs too. Good luck in your search.

  • Hi Karakos, 

    I am currently a student working towards my Bsc. in Health Informatics at the University of Victoria in B.C., Canada. There is both a masters and pHd. program, here is the link if you are interested http://www.uvic.ca/hsd/hinf/graduate/overview/index.php

    • Hey..... i am planning to apply for the masters in health informatics at uVIC. Do you think that course is good even though i am not a  very research oriented person. I have heard that the course is highly research oriented.

  • The transition path from "pure" informatics to health informatics is challenging but worth venturing. My bachelor is informatics (BEng in information science) but actually my study was in hardware architecture (parallel processors), not more human things like pattern recognition or language processing.

    However, after involved in R&D in 3D graphics and multimedia databases, I landed on clinical reference image databases and electronic medical record systems. That was the start of my career as a health IT analyst.

    For an informatics student, I think clinical coding is one of suitable options to learn about healthcare. It is about modelling and encoding the reality into structured data for further process just like other information processes. I know as I learned it ;)

  • Hello Karakos,

    I just saw this post now.

    I was in your situation about 2 years ago when I was in my final year in medical school. After much search and discussion with people, I settled for the Duke University Fuqua School of Business's Masters in Management in Clinical Informatics which I am studying now. It encompasses Management, Healthcare and IT with people from varying backgrounds. You may check it out and see if it fits your interest.

    http://www.fuqua.duke.edu/programs/other_programs/mmci/

    Regards,

    Bilikis 

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