Clinical Informatics Fellowship Program

Overview:

The University of Chicago’s Clinical Informatics Fellowship, under the leadership of Dr. Samuel Volchenboum, MD, PhD, has been an ACGME-accredited program since July 1, 2017. The academic home for the Clinical Informatics Fellowship Program is within the Department of Medicine in the Biological Sciences Division at UChicago. The Biological Sciences Division contains the University of Chicago Medicine as the primary teaching hospital including residency programs and fellowship programs as well as The Pritzker School of Medicine. The Department of Medicine fully supports numerous fellowship programs and is currently seeking outstanding applicants for the two-year fellowship in Clinical Informatics.

Education and Training:

The Clinical Informatics Fellowship Program is a two-year training program that requires cross-training in The Master of Science in Biomedical Informatics Program (MScBMI). The fellows enroll in courses based on availability and the required sequencing of the MScBMI program. The fellows also meet with a faculty mentor at the start of the program to develop an Individualized Learning Plan from which a rotation schedule is constructed and assigned. Finally, the program works with the residents’ specialty department to arrange clinical care as necessary to maintain clinical skills. All of the schedules and assignments are available online to the fellows. Requirements for fellows are reviewed before each rotation, including clear goals and objectives for each assignment for each year. In addition, fellows are evaluated on their progressive abilities to utilize and implement information systems to provide and improve patient care in a team-based setting. Further, direct observation by the Program Director and informatics faculty members lead to progressive steps in independence leading to directing projects of defined scope independently, while still demonstrating milestones achieved to supervising informatics faculty members. As a culminating experience, fellows combine knowledge learned from clinical experience and skills they obtained during their coursework through a Capstone Project. Fellows have the opportunity to develop and implement a biomedical informatics project with an industry or University partner.

Practicing Medicine During the Fellowship:

As part of an ACGME requirement, fellows must maintain certification in their primary specialty while training in the Clinical Informatics Fellowship program. Fellows are required to spend 10% of the time seeing patients in their primary specialty. Therefore, working as end users, they bring high value to the EHR Optimization initiative recognizing the “EHR overhead” brought by current systems. In addition to using the EMR for routine clinical practice, fellows also work with the EHR data to understand hours spent outside routine work hours and working on charts (outside of clinical encounters). Projects in this area include defining key metrics and distribution of reports while measuring the direct effects of improvement efforts on these objective metrics.

National Conferences:

The fellow participates in a wide variety of educational conferences throughout the fellowship term. The following is a representative list of the opportunities for attendance and participation in educational conferences: Epic’s UGM Conference, Epic’s XGM Conference, AMIA’s Clinical Informatics Conference, and AMIA’s Annual Symposium.

Core Faculty:

All of our physician faculty members are board certified in Clinical Informatics.

Samuel Volchenboum, MD, PhD Program Director, Pediatrics
Suzanne Cox, PhD, MS Associate Dean, Health Sciences Education
Chancey Christenson, MD, MPH Pathology
Ori Gottlieb, MD Anesthesia and Critical Care
Cheng-Kai Kao, MD Hospital Medicine
Jessica Ridgway, MD, MS Infectious Disease
Sachin Shah, MD Internal Medicine/Pediatrics

Fellows:

PGY2: Michael Cui, MD (Internal Medicine)

PGY1: Sarah Feenstra Gilson, MD (Internal Medicine)

Unique Opportunities Pertaining to the University of Chicago Program

Master of Science in Biomedical Informatics (MScBMI):

The Clinical Informatics Fellowship program incorporates cross-training in The Master of Science in Biomedical Informatics (MScBMI). The MScBMI program – with full coursework available to clinical informatics fellows – provides the skills and knowledge to understand, build, and improve informatics solutions that help to address the most significant challenges in healthcare today.

Fellows enroll in the MScBMI program and will learn and master:

  • Informatics methodology, applying tools and techniques to both research and applied problems in biomedical settings
  • Effective communication with diverse professional audiences regarding informatics issues and solutions
  • Management of biomedical informatics projects
  • Understanding of the ethical, privacy, and data security issues in the field

Biomedical Informatics Courses Cover:

  • Electronic health record systems
  • Distribution and integration of clinical information systems
  • Evaluation methods for health information systems
  • Clinical decision support systems
  • Telemedicine and telehealth
  • Imaging systems
  • Bioinformatics systems support
  • Human-computer interaction
  • Ethical and privacy issues
  • Nursing, public health, dental and pharmacy information systems and issues

Epic Physician Builder Program:

Epic’s Physician Builder program gives advanced training to physicians with a desire to learn how to make system changes directly. The courses are fast paced and describe the configuration of the system, including the discussion of guardrails for and potential unintended consequences of changes to each build item. The course is intended for forward-thinking physicians, physician’s assistants, and nurse practitioners, who have experience using Epic and who enjoy solving puzzles. The classes cover many of the tools clinicians use on a daily basis.
The University of Chicago Medicine’s (UCM) Clinical Informatics Team launched their Physician Builder Program under the leadership of Associate Chief Medical Information Officer, Cheng-Kai Kao, MD. The Clinical Informatics Team kicked off the physician builder program in 2018, on-boarded 20+ physician builders, developed governance for project approval, and provided 1:1 tech support in partnership with the IT department and Epic tech support. As a clinical informatics fellow, you will have the opportunity to participate in the physician builder program.


Association for Pathology Informatics (API) Membership:

The Association for Pathology Informatics (API) is a scientific society that is dedicated to furthering the discipline of Pathology Informatics. As a clinical informatics fellow, you will be provided with a complimentary membership as part of the larger institutional membership. The Association provides fellows with significant complementary educational resources and academic opportunities.


The Center for Healthcare Delivery Science & Innovation:

  • The mission of the Center for Healthcare Delivery Science and Innovation is to connect scholars and leaders across University of Chicago Medicine and beyond to catalyze innovation and discovery in healthcare delivery and was created to establish UCM as a leader in the emerging field where science and healthcare delivery intersect by:
    To facilitate the use of rigorous and innovative approaches to improve patient care by promoting collaboration between healthcare delivery providers, leaders, and scholars.
  • To influence the national conversation by supporting the dissemination of HDSI Scholars’ work.
  • To enable mentorship and training in HDSI to cultivate the next generation of scholars and leaders.

As a clinical informatics fellow, you will be offered the opportunity to participate in these educational events that foster scholarship, discussion, and healthcare delivery science research.


Institute for Translational Medicine (ITM):

The Institute for Translational Medicine (ITM) links researchers and community organizations with funding, education, and resources to find effective ways to prevent and treat disease in real-world settings. ITM works with a group of 60 institutions toward advancing medicine in innovative ways. Their mission is to train scientists and health care providers, partner institutions, and in the community to determine the molecular underpinnings of disease and disease predisposition, and to develop, test, and implement the most effective personalized therapies that are rigorous, valid, efficient, ethical, and respectful of the communities’ needs and values. As a clinical informatics fellow, you will have the opportunity to join the movement and contribute to these research breakthroughs.


Institute for Population and Precision Health (IPPH):

The Institute for Population and Precision Health connects researchers from multiple academic units across University of Chicago, and provides them with population-based resources to tackle the most challenging biological, behavioral, and economic problems in preventive and population medicine. As a clinical informatics fellow, you will have the opportunity to help leverage these advances to improve the ability to prevent disease, promote health, and reduce health disparities.


Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacogenomics Training Program:

The University of Chicago Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacogenomics Training Program offers a variety of training that fits your career goals. Opportunities include training in Clinical Therapeutics and Pharmacogenomics in Clinical Implementation. As a clinical informatics fellow, you will have the opportunity to apply for additional Pharmacology training.


John Crerar Library’s Center for Data and Applied Computing:

The Center for Data and Computing is a research center for developing new methods in computation and data analytics and applying them to ambitious projects across the full spectrum of science and scholarship. It provides computationally focused, interdisciplinary projects at UChicago with resources, space and a network for collaboration on campus and around the world. The center will provide opportunities for clinical informatics fellows to participate in data science and computing collaborations.


Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation:

The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation bridges the gap between knowledge and practice, idea and action, and research and impact through education, partnerships, and new venture creation. It brings the power of ideas in the laboratory, classroom and community to the world. Through education, resources, and programs, the Polsky Center commercializes discoveries, partners with companies, and attracts venture capital. The Polsky Center manages the University of Chicago’s technology transfer function that manages all University-based intellectual property originating from faculty research and discoveries, which can be licensed to industry partners and investors. The Polsky Center provides venture creation support for all members of the University of Chicago community as well as the local South and West Side community entrepreneurs. As a clinical informatics fellow, you will be able to participate in a variety of educational settings from the Polsky Center.


MATTER:

Chicago offers many startup resources. For example, MATTER is a healthcare startup incubator, community nexus and corporate innovation accelerator and is composed of hundreds of startup and growth stage companies from around the world, dozens of corporate partners and programs supporting healthcare entrepreneurship and innovation. Fellows will have the opportunity to connect and collaborate in this community of healthcare innovators.


UChicago Argonne, LLC:

Since the lab’s founding in 1946, the University of Chicago has managed and operated the Argonne National Laboratory—a laboratory that has become a scientific leader for the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) and the country. Through UChicago Argonne, LLC, the University of Chicago brings the best of commercial practices and marshals the talent of Illinois’ leading research universities to lead Argonne into the future. Argonne has excelled in integrating world-class science, engineering, and user facilities to deliver innovative research and technologies and new knowledge that addresses the scientific and societal needs of our nation. As a clinical informatics fellow, you will be able to participate in research conducted at the laboratory.


Application Information

Thank you for expressing interest in the Clinical Informatics Fellowship Program housed within the Department of Medicine at the University of Chicago. Applications will be accepted from individuals across all fields of medicine that have completed an ACGME accredited residency program, are board certified or seeking board certification, and are eligible for a permanent Illinois medical license.

How to Apply:

The program will be accepting applications through Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) for the next application cycle.

 Required documentation:

  1. Link to Application
  2. Curriculum Vitae
  3. 1-2 page Personal Statement related to clinical informatics including research/career goals and how clinical informatics will enhance your opportunities in your chosen field
  4. 3 Letters of recommendation
  5. Official Transcripts from all institutions attended
  6. USMLE scores
  7.  Verifications from any previous staff positions

The timeline for the upcoming application cycle is:

July-September Applications accepted
September, October, November (if needed) Interviews conducted

Only completed applications will be considered for admission. The admissions committee will review applications and selected applicants will be invited for an onsite interview at UChicago Medicine.

Selection Criteria:

Selection criteria will include: academic track record; personal statement including research/career goals and how clinical informatics will enhance their opportunities in their chosen field; reference letters; and interviews. The proposed training will equip fellows with the necessary knowledge and technical skills to tackle everyday data management issues and guide large informatics projects while focusing on systems-level improvements in care delivery through the use of data analytics, clinical decision support, and data visualization.

Contact Us:

***Please contact us via email if you have any questions about the application process.

Email: ClinicalInformaticsFellowship@uchospitals.edu