Preparing for Informatics Careers and Trends in the Age of Meaningful Use
Nawanan Theera-Ampornpunt, MD, PhD1, Kai Zheng, PhD2, Yang Gong, MD, PhD3,
Jennifer Boehne, PharmD, MHI, MPH4, David C. Kaelber, MD, PhD, MPH5, Rui Zhang,
MS6, Sashank Kaushik, MD5, Ryan Shaw, PhD, RN7, Tiffany Kelley, PhD, MBA, RN8, Saif
Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand;
School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI; 3School of Biomedical
Informatics, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX;
University of Louisville (KentuckyOne Health), Louisville, KY; 5Center for Clinical
Informatics Research and Education, The MetroHealth System, Case Western Reserve
University, Cleveland, OH; 6Institute for Health Informatics, University of Minnesota,
Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN; 7Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC; 8Nexus
Consulting Corp, Beverly, MA
In the age of Meaningful Use, the career landscape for informatics students has expanded greatly. It is crucial that
the next-generation informatics workforce is well-prepared for the diverse opportunities and the upcoming health
information technology (HIT) trends. The AMIA Student Working Group proposes a “Career Panel” of informatics
professionals that will offer perspectives and helpful advices to students on their career opportunities and
professional development. This year’s panel will feature panelists from both academia and industry, and from
different professional backgrounds (e.g., technical vs. clinical or health). Panelists will also discuss upcoming
trends on HIT and informatics, and the implications of these trends on students’ careers. The panel will better
prepare today’s informatics students for tomorrow’s workforce expectations, which will have a positive impact for
the success of the informatics field in the future.
Every year since 2002, the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) Annual Symposium has featured a
panel organized by the Student Working Group (ST-WG) to offer viewpoints about informatics career opportunities
and professional development advices to informatics students, recent graduates, and early-career professionals. Over
time, these panels have become one of the hallmarks of the Annual Symposium for student attendees and were often
filled with an engaged audience and lively interactions.
Since the beginning of the “Meaningful Use” efforts to facilitate adoption and use of health information technology
(HIT), the career opportunities for informatics students have increased exponentially. In this age of Meaningful Use,
these professional development advices are more important than ever. This was evident in last year’s panel1
featuring panelists from different stages in their informatics careers, which was well-attended by over a hundred
attendees and entertained many interesting questions. Despite the success last year, the theme for the panel focused
more on academic careers at the time when there were also great career interests in healthcare organizations and HIT
vendors. In addition, the future trends in HIT and informatics were often not addressed in relation to the students’
career development, creating missed opportunities for the workforce.
This year’s proposed panel not only builds on this successful tradition but will also enhance it in the following ways:
The panel will feature panelists from both academia and the industry, providing balanced perspectives and
helpful advices for students with diverse career interests.
Recognizing that informaticians from different professional backgrounds (e.g., technical vs. clinical or
health backgrounds) will likely have different career trajectories, the panelists will be a mixture of
informatics professionals with technical and health backgrounds.
Rather than simply providing career advices for students, we will ask the panel to discuss upcoming trends
in HIT and the field and their implications for the current cohort of students.
During the panel presentation the following topics will be discussed:
How was each panelist’s experience from when they first enter the field until now?
What factors or experience played a key role in their informatics career?
Given their background and work setting, what do the panelists think are the upcoming trends in HIT
What implications do these trends have for current informatics students and trainees?
In this age of Meaningful Use, how should these students prepare and ready themselves for the coming
career opportunities and trends?
The panel will be delivered in the traditional panel discussion format with a total time of 90 minutes. After a brief
introduction by the moderator, each of the four panelists is allotted 15 minutes for presentation. Following the
presentations, the floor will be opened to 15-20 minutes of questions from the audience. During the last 10 minutes
of the session, each panelist will then be asked to give a brief closing comment.
In this exciting time of Meaningful Use, this panel which will provide diverse perspectives and advices to
informatics students about upcoming HIT trends, implications for their career opportunities, and professional
development, is very important to the students. It is an important open platform for student attendees to interact with
the AMIA community, and become a key part of AMIA. Most importantly, having a strong, energetic, and wellprepared workforce is also pivotal to the industry and the success of the field as a whole. Offering this panel is a
“meaningful” role the Student Working Group intends to play in shaping the future of AMIA and informatics.
AMIA Student Working Group Executive Committee and Volunteers
Nawanan Theera-Ampornpunt, MD, PhD, Chair
Rui Zhang, PhD Candidate, Chair-Elect
Tiffany Kelley, PhD, MBA, RN, Immediate Past Chair
Paulina Sockolow, DrPH, MBA, Student Representative to the AMIA Board
Sashank Kaushik, MD, Member-at-Large (Resident-Fellow)
Marcela Musgrove, Member-at-Large (Masters)
Ryan Shaw, PhD, RN, Member-at-Large (Doctoral - PhD)
Mark Roche, MD, MS, Member-at-Large (Doctoral - Professional)
Edmond Ramly, MS, Editor-in-chief, ST-WG Newsletters
Jacqueline Feinberg, Executive Secretary
Kourosh Ravvaz, MD, MPH, ST-WG Volunteer
Scott M. Sittig, MHI, RHIA, ST-WG Public Policy Liaison to the Public Policy Committee
Saif Khairat, PhD, ST-WG Volunteer
Academia, Technical Background
Kai Zheng, PhD
Associate Professor of Health Management and Policy, School of Public Health
Associate Professor of Information, School of Information
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI
Academia, Clinical/Health Background
Yang Gong, MD, PhD
School of Biomedical Informatics
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth)
Industry, Health IT Vendor
Jennifer Boehne, PharmD, MHI, MPH
Medication Safety Officer/Manager
University of Louisville (KentuckyOne Health)
(Formerly worked for Epic Systems Corporation)
Industry, Healthcare Organization
David C. Kaelber, MD, PhD, MPH
Chief Medical Informatics Officer, The MetroHealth System
Center for Clinical Informatics Research and Education, The MetroHealth System
Case Western Reserve University
Nawanan Theera-Ampornpunt, MD, PhD
AMIA Student Working Group Chair
Acting for Deputy Chief, Health Informatics Division
Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital
Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand
I, Nawanan Theera-Ampornpunt, hereby confirm that all panelists listed in this proposal have agreed to participate
in this panel. Panelists are aware that there are no travel or registration funds available. Panelists are also aware that
the Student Working Group is unable to reimburse their registration costs.
Theera-Ampornpunt N, Kelley T, Ramly E, Shaw R, Khairat S, Sonnenberg FA. The paths toward
informatics careers in the post-HITECT era [panel discussion]. AMIA Annu Symp Proc. 2012 Nov:1565-7.