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As a current student, how can I make myself stand out once I enter the job field? - AHSmith 4/3/2014

AHS, very good to hear from you. Great that you’re thinking ahead already, and are keeping abreast of current developments by reading Healthcare Informatics! Most of all, I would urge you to do anything you can to get some kind of internship, whether paid or unpaid, at a hospital, medical group, or health system, and to position yourself to work on projects that matter.

There are several elements there, of course: first, you have to get the internship; then you have to be able to convince whomever you’re interning for that you can meaningfully contribute to a project; and finally, you have to be able to attach yourself to a project or initiative that will look good on your resume because it will demonstrate actual involvement in real-world work related to what you’re aspiring to do professionally. There are literally thousands of hospitals and medical groups installing electronic health records either for the first time or ‘ripping and replacing.’ If you can maneuver yourself into an intern position where you can observe how an EHR implementation actually works, that experience would be golden for you. The same is true to varying degrees of any clinical IS implementation. Also, continue to read up on the policy, strategic and operational developments unfolding in the industry now; doing so will position you as broadly knowledgeable, and not only as technically competent (as important as that is, too). That would be my advice. I hope it’s helpful to you—good luck in your career aspirations!”