Having trouble landing a health IT job because you're not a clinician, or your IT experience lies outside healthcare? These master's degree and health informatics programs can help bridge the gap.
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Degree: Masters of Science in Medical Informatics (MSMI)
Program description: The Medical College of Wisconsin and the Milwaukee School of Engineering offer this joint Master of Science in Medical Informatics (MSMI) degree program. It's a campus-only program, so if Milwaukee is your neighborhood, this program may be for you. It provides a practical education that prepares the graduate to participate in development, implementation, and management teams charged with IT solutions for improved patient care. This medical informatics degree program takes a realistic yet helpful position on IT training: "We will not make doctors or nurses into network engineers or database designers or finance or management experts. Similarly, we will not prepare computer scientists or business experts for patient care." Rather, the school says its program provides "in-depth education in medical informatics, computer science, health policy, and epidemiologic/research methods."
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Term: A total of 54 quarter credit hours are required, of which 42 are required course work, 6 are electives, and 6 are for an internship/research project. Core classes meet once weekly during the evening.
Class size: Typically fewer than 15 students per class. No teaching assistants.
Job placement possibilities: Positions with companies that design and install information systems; health IT positions within hospitals, clinics, and health maintenance and managed care organizations, and third-party insurers; work within businesses with health care programs for employees; and public health agencies. Other career possibilities include work as informatics professionals who can use information technologies to bridge the gap between patient data registries and health research protocols at research institutions.
Cost: $650 per credit, for a total cost of approximately $33,150.