The Mass General Hospital/Brigham and Women's Hospital (MGH/BWH) Clinical Informatics Fellowship Program at Mass General Brigham is a two-year program that offers two different tracks:
Full two-year track, open to physicians in any medical specialty
Combined fellowship track, 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).
Participants will obtain fundamental knowledge and understanding of the following core content areas:
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.
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.
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.
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.
The full two-year track is a two-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.
The combined fellowship track is a two-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 Mass General Brigham 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.
To provide the trainee with a broad introduction to the breadth of the field of clinical informatics
To understand the current health IT landscape in terms of policy and incentives, and its role in advancing institutional missions
To familiarize trainees with fundamental tools and techniques used by informatics professionals to carry out informatics research and interventions
To introduce trainees to requirements for subspecialty certification as defined by the American Board of Preventative Medicine
To prepare trainees to pursue a future career in clinical informatics
The trainee will be matched with a mentor from the faculty or informatics professional staff whose area of practice is similar to the trainee’s stated interests. The trainee will have the opportunity to shadow this mentor and observe day-to-day activities involved in an active informatics project. When possible, the mentor may assign the trainee tasks commensurate with his or her level of familiarity with the project content.
The trainee will be required to attend seminars and didactic sessions offered by various Mass General Brigham entities and HMS. These may include weekly clinical informatics seminars offered by Mass General Brigham IS and biweekly seminars at the Center for Biomedical Informatics at Countway Library, as well as didactic sessions with current Clinical Informatics & Innovation fellows. The trainee will be provided with a schedule of required sessions at the beginning of the rotation.
The trainee will also be given the opportunity to meet with other faculty and staff on an informal basis to discuss their own work and career trajectories. The goal is to give the trainee a sense of the depth of the field and possibilities for future development.
The trainee will be provided with a list of required readings comprised of essential or seminal work in the field, as well as general review readings, covering a breadth of topics identified as core content for the subspecialty by the American Board of Preventative Medicine. The list will additionally include readings on fundamental tools and techniques that form the backbone of a large body of informatics projects. The trainee will be expected to complete these readings independently on his or her own schedule and should be prepared to discuss content with faculty members and fellows.
The trainee will be expected to present a journal club session to an audience of faculty and informatics professionals. The article discussed will be chosen by the trainee at the beginning of the rotation, with approval of the program director or assigned mentor. The article should be a recent work published in a reputable, peer-reviewed informatics journal, and should be accessible to a general informatics audience. The presentation should follow a standard journal club format, with focus on critique and implications of the work presented. The trainee is encouraged to solicit input from faculty members prior to presentation.
The trainee will select one of two written assignments to complete based on past experience. Trainees with past technical experience should select the mock project proposal, while those without should select the student exercises to be provided.
Mock project proposal
At the end of the rotation, the trainee will be expected to complete a brief project proposal (no more than one page) that outlines a potential future project in any area of clinical informatics. This proposal should demonstrate that the trainee has gained an understanding of current informatics needs and gaps, as well as tools and techniques available to address those gaps. This proposal should also serve to help the trainee investigate an area of particular interest to him or her and might be based on an observation/experience during the rotation. The proposal should include the following sections:
The program director (or assigned mentor) will meet with the trainee weekly to review progress. At the end of the rotation, the trainee will be provided with verbal feedback, as well as a written evaluation which will be completed by the program director (or assigned mentor) based on feedback from faculty mentors, the trainee’s participation in didactic and seminar sessions, and completion of assignments as above. The trainee will also be asked to provide confidential feedback at the end the rotation evaluating the faculty, the clinical informatics curriculum and other educational experiences, including didactics.
We welcome residents of all medical specialties from Mass General Brigham–affiliated residency programs, as well as visiting residents from any U.S. or international residency program (with appropriate visa and work authorization). Residents not affiliated with Mass General Brigham will need to provide a letter of good standing from their residency program director. The letter must state that their salary and benefits will be covered in full during the elective rotation. Visiting residents will need to arrange their own travel and lodging for the duration of the rotation. Rotation dates are flexible and must be a minimum of four consecutive calendar weeks. The rotation will not include clinical care activities.
Permission of the elective director is required. Interested residents should contact Neelima Karipineni, MD, MMSc, at firstname.lastname@example.org at least two months prior to the desired start date. We may require additional documentation and application materials.
Medical students from Harvard Medical School should contact the Registrar’s office to register for the elective. Visiting medical students will also need to contact the Harvard Medical School Office of the Registrar for application information.