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Clinical Informatics Now a Board-Certified Medical Subspecialty

September 23, 2011
by Mark Hagland
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The American Board of Medical Specialties Formally Elevates Practitioners in the Field

On Sep. 22, the Bethesda, Md.-based American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) announced the success of its multi-year initiative to elevate clinical informatics to an American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) subspecialty. According to AMIA, the ABMS board voted earlier this week to elevate clinical informatics to that level. According to a press release from AMIA, the ABMS board hopes to have the first board exam available in the fall of 2012, with the first certificates awarded early in 2013. To prepare physicians desiring to take the exam, AMIA has announced that it is developing preparatory materials both as online and in-person courses beginning next spring.

As the AMIA announcement indicates, clinical informatics will join “such specialties as pediatric anesthesiology, medical toxicology, sports medicine, geriatrics medicine, and cardiovascular disease. The certification for clinical informatics, the announcement indicated, “will be based on a rigorous set of core competencies, heavily influenced by publications on the subject that were developed by AMIA and its members, many of whom have pioneered the field and supported CI’s new status as an ABMS-recognized area of clinical expertise.”

The AMIA press release quoted Nancy M. Lorenzi, Ph.D., of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, who is the chair of AMIA’s board of directors, as saying, “It is entirely appropriate and timely to certify clinical informatics as a specialized area of training and expertise in an era when more and more clinicians are turning to data-driven, computer-assisted clinical decision support to provide care for their patients. Clinical informatics blends medical and informatics knowledge to support and optimize healthcare delivery.”

Healthcare Informatics will continue to follow and report on developments in this area.

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