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Acad Med. 1997 Jan;72(1):36-41.

Re-imagining the medical informatics curriculum.

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School of Medicine Library, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA. frisse@medicine.WUSTL.EDU


Most physicians in academics, administration, and private practice are insufficiently trained to cope with the current challenges facing medicine. Although information technology, and medical informatics in particular, has been considered to be part of the solution to this problem, the philosophical underpinnings of informatics remain a source of much discussion. Too often, new technology is seen as a new way to do the same things, rather than as an opportunity for a radical reenvisioning of the processes and practices themselves. As a consequence, practitioners and educators fail to make the best uses of new technologies, and fail to offer medical students the comprehensive training in medical informatics that they will need as they move into the real worlds of practice and academics. In this paper, the author describes an imaginary informatics curriculum made up of six core courses: Introduction to Complexity, Decisions and Outcomes, Scarcity and Conflict, Teamwork and Organizations, Representing Knowledge and Action, and Groupware and Collaboration. He does not recommend that these hypothetical courses actually be implemented, but presents them in the hope that they may serve as a starting point for discussions of how informatics can be incorporated into the curriculum in a more substantive way.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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