Training digital natives to transform healthcare: a 5-tiered approach for integrating clinical informatics into undergraduate medical education

J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2022 Dec 13;30(1):139-143. doi: 10.1093/jamia/ocac209.


Expansive growth in the use of health information technology (HIT) has dramatically altered medicine without translating to fully realized improvements in healthcare delivery. Bridging this divide will require healthcare professionals with all levels of expertise in clinical informatics. However, due to scarce opportunities for exposure and training in informatics, medical students remain an underdeveloped source of potential informaticists. To address this gap, our institution developed and implemented a 5-tiered clinical informatics curriculum at the undergraduate medical education level: (1) a practical orientation to HIT for rising clerkship students; (2) an elective for junior students; (3) an elective for senior students; (4) a longitudinal area of concentration; and (5) a yearlong predoctoral fellowship in operational informatics at the health system level. Most students found these offerings valuable for their training and professional development. We share lessons and recommendations for medical schools and health systems looking to implement similar opportunities.

Keywords: applied health informatics; clinical informatics; curriculum; informatics education; medical school; undergraduate medical education.

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate*
  • Humans
  • Medical Informatics* / education
  • Schools, Medical