Curriculum

The MGH/BWH Clinical Informatics Fellowship Program at Mass General Brigham is a two-year program that offers two different tracks: a full two-year track that is open to physicians in any medical specialty, and a combined fellowship track, which is open to pathology-trained physicians only.  Please note that the two tracks have separate application processes and different deadlines (see the Apply section for more details).

Both tracks share four core components: didactic education, informatics practicum, innovative scholarly projects and clinical care. Fellows acquire the knowledge and skills to begin successful careers dedicated to analyzing, designing, implementing, optimizing, and evaluating information and communication systems that enhance individual and population health outcomes, improve health care delivery, and strengthen the clinician-patient relationship. Projects are configured based on the interests and career goals of the individual fellows. Graduates will be prepared to lead health information technology strategy and implementation projects, advance the field’s knowledge base, and train the next generation. After successfully completing the program, fellows will be eligible to take the Clinical Informatics Board Exam offered by the American Board of Preventive Medicine (ABPM) and American Board of Pathology (ABP).

Didactic education Participants will obtain fundamental knowledge and understanding of the following core content areas: informatics fundamentals, clinical decision-making and care process improvement, health information systems, and leadership and management of change. Didactic sessions will be provided through various Clinical Informatics lecture series featuring experts at Mass General Brigham and other Harvard-affiliated clinical informaticians. Variations based on track are described below.
Informatics practicum A significant focus of the fellowship will be working on real clinical information system projects under the supervision of fellowship faculty with the aim of gaining the knowledge and skills to independently lead clinical systems implementation projects.
Innovation scholarly project Fellows will complete an innovative scholarly project such as a systematic review, case report, or original research project. The project should be suitable for publication in the clinical informatics literature.
Clinical care Fellows are expected to incorporate some level of part-time medicine practice or exposure during the fellowship to maintain their clinical skills. Variations based on track are described below.

Full 2-year Track

The Full 2-year Track is a 2-year program open to applicants from any clinical specialty (including pathology). Fellows in this track will have the opportunity to earn a Master’s degree from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH), Harvard Department of Biomedical Informatics (DBMI), or another approved graduate degree program. Importantly, the fellow must be accepted into and successfully complete the degree program in addition to participating in the training program. Graduate degree fees will be covered by the fellowship program.

With regard to clinical activities, fellows will have the opportunity to work as attending physicians in their clinical specialty at Mass General Brigham affiliated sites to maintain their clinical skills, use the current clinical information systems, and gain respect of their colleagues. Moonlighting policies will be adhered to as defined by the ACGME.

Combined Fellowship Track

The Combined Fellowship Track is a 2-year program in which the clinical informatics fellowship is combined with another one-year fellowship. This track is currently only open to pathology trainees. Concurrent training with Clinical Informatics is allowed by the American Board of Pathology (ABP) and the ACGME, and a fellow successfully completing this track would qualify for dual certification in clinical informatics and another ACGME-accredited pathology subspecialty with only two years of training rather than three years. The Clinical Informatics fellowship may also be combined with a non-ACGME accredited fellowship. Due to the accelerated nature of the Combined Fellowship track, completion of a Master’s degree is not an option. This pathway is designed for pathologists who are interested in applying informatics to a clinical laboratory or pathology specialty, especially if the candidate has done substantial training in informatics prior to or during residency. The second fellowship can be completed before or after the full year of informatics and can be done at MGB or at another site. In either case, there must be a close collaboration between the fellowships so that the fellows leave the program ready to apply both informatics and clinical leadership in a subspecialty laboratory or diagnostic group.

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