Computers in Healthcare

Clinical Informatics Becomes a Board-Certified Medical Subspecialty

In a September 22, 2011, announcement, AMIA (the association for informatics professionals) announced that Clinical Informatics (CI) has become an American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) subspecialty. The CI examination will be administered by the American Board of Preventive Medicine and available to physicians who have primary specialty certification through the American Board of Medical Specialties.

Joining such subspecialties as pediatric anesthesiology, medical toxicology, sports medicine, geriatrics medicine, and cardiovascular disease, clinical informatics (CI) certification will be based on a rigorous set of core competencies, heavily influenced by publications on the subject developed by AMIA and its members, many of whom have pioneered the field and supported CI’s new status as an ABMS-recognized area of clinical expertise. The goal for the first board exam is to have it available in fall 2012, with the first certificates awarded early in 2013. To prepare physicians who wish to sit for this examination, AMIA is developing preparatory materials both as online and in-person courses starting spring 2012.

As more clinicians turn to EHRs and clinical decision support support systems, specialized training is needed to develop clinical informatics expertise.

According to AMIA president and CEO Edward H. Shortliffe, MD, PhD. “With the need over the next decade for 50,000 informatics professionals in the health sector with various levels of expertise, this focus on physician expertise in clinical informatics is clearly a step in the right direction. The CI exam will encourage more medical schools to build informatics into their training programs and to begin addressing real-world information management needs of physicians in virtually every work environment.”

AmericanEHR Partners will be interviewing Dr. Shortliffe about the CI certification in an upcoming Podcast.

Click here to read the full announcement


5 responses to "Clinical Informatics Becomes a Board-Certified Medical Subspecialty"
  • January 17, 2012
    Billy Adeleke-Asalu

    Please I need clarification on what has been put in place for non medical doctors or Foreign trained medical doctors who have PhD in health informatics with Clinical Informatics as sub-specialty and want to be CI Board certified?
    I don’t think it will be fair on these categories of people to spend that many years in schools and only to become neglected in job markets for CI. I believe very soon, every employer will be requesting for a Board certified Clinical Informatician.
    Please help!!!. I asked this same question around October, 2011 but no concrete response was given.
    Billy Adeleke-Asalu from SHRP-UMDNJ in Newark. NJ.

  • January 22, 2012
    Alan Brookstone, MD

    The following was published by Edward Shortliffe on the AMIA website –

    We have also recognized that many superb clinical informaticians will be ineligible for the subspecialty certification being offered by the ABMS/ABPM process. In particular, the certifying examination will be unavailable to non-physicians or to physicians who lack specialty certification through one of the ABMS boards. Nurses, pharmacists and PhDs who are working full time in clinical informatics environments clearly need a similar kind of certifying opportunity, and AMIA is committed to developing such options for all our members who wish to pursue clinical informatics certification.

    With these additional potential candidates for certification in mind, AMIA’s Academic Forum has appointed a task force to consider options for providing a certifying process for those who are ineligible for the ABMS board examination. That task force will be reporting soon to the forum leadership, and in turn to the AMIA board. As plans develop and we have definite news to report, information will be provided to members through our regular newsletters and on the clinical informatics page on the AMIA web site. We welcome your comments and suggestions.

  • July 13, 2012

    Offer Residency training programs in Informatics. Why a subspecialty?

    Reading the above 2 posts, ideally the scope would be to explore offering grad residency training (GME) in this specialty directly. That would ensure the intended workforce of the future in this emerging field. The clinical curricula can be weaved into the 3 year program.

    My point is, why bottleneck the flow to this specialization after the residency training in another field- that is taking a gamble in whether all board certified physicians would opt for this extra training and go into that as a career. As of today, it is mostly the nursing professionals who are established in HIT after changing course from their clinical track.

  • November 5, 2012
    Billy Adeleke-Asalu

    Still on the topic, I am yet to read about the outcome of the task force and fate of the non-physicians/foreign trained physicians who had spent the more than 5 years to attain degrees in biomedical informatics. This may be frustrating that after 6 years for the PhD in health informatics you can not be certified in Clinical informatics. this may affect the burning interest in many potential students of Biomedical Informatics.

  • November 23, 2012
    Nathan Hamadeh, MD

    Please let me know if there has been any courses developed to train physicians on the content of the Board exam for CI.
    Thank you..

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