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Health Informatics Degrees a Multidisciplinary Effort

The University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee recently placed ads seeking candidates for a tenure-track professor's position in Health Informatics. The description of the entire academic program illustrates the combination of traditional academic disciplines that contribute to this relatively recent addition to the degree options in the medical field.

"The Program is multidisciplinary involving not only faculty in the Health Care Administration and Health Informatics programs, but also in Information Systems Management (Lubar School of Business Administration), Computer Science (College of Engineering and Applied Science), College of Nursing, and the School of Information Studies. The Program aims to prepare graduates to assume leadership information management roles in a wide range of health care organizations as well as researchers in the field of health informatics."

Current professionals looking to shift careers into the health informatics field could do so from a number of different directions. Graduates from an associate's program in computer science could quite easily transfer credits into a health informatics program. RNs who obtained their nursing license on the strength of an associate's degree could transfer into health informatics with an intimate knowledge of the patient information flow that is necessary among hospitals, clinics, physician's offices and the nursing stations in outpatient facilities and emergency rooms.

Just how a health informatics degree is cobbled together from these disparate sources isn't clear until a catalogue of courses is available. But the combination of IT skills and medical knowledge is an unusual one, in the sense that professionals from either field could opt for a bachelor's or master's degree in health informatics and engage in a career that is a whole assembled from very different parts. Health informatics is also one of the fastest growing professions that have evolved from the digital information revolution.

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