Career Paths of Pathology Informatics Fellowship Alumni

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J Pathol Inform


Background: The alumni of today's Pathology Informatics and Clinical Informatics fellowships fill diverse roles in academia, large health systems, and industry. The evolving training tracks and curriculum of Pathology Informatics fellowships have been well documented. However, less attention has been given to the posttraining experiences of graduates from informatics training programs. Here, we examine the career paths of subspecialty fellowship-trained pathology informaticians.

Methods: Alumni from four Pathology Informatics fellowship training programs were contacted for their voluntary participation in the study. We analyzed various components of training, and the subsequent career paths of Pathology Informatics fellowship alumni using data extracted from alumni provided curriculum vitae.

Results: Twenty-three out of twenty-seven alumni contacted contributed to the study. A majority had completed undergraduate study in science, technology, engineering, and math fields and combined track training in anatomic and clinical pathology. Approximately 30% (7/23) completed residency in a program with an in-house Pathology Informatics fellowship. Most completed additional fellowships (15/23) and many also completed advanced degrees (10/23). Common primary posttraining appointments included chief medical informatics officer (3/23), director of Pathology Informatics (10/23), informatics program director (2/23), and various roles in industry (3/23). Many alumni also provide clinical care in addition to their informatics roles (14/23). Pathology Informatics alumni serve on a variety of institutional committees, participate in national informatics organizations, contribute widely to scientific literature, and more than half (13/23) have obtained subspecialty certification in Clinical Informatics to date.

Conclusions: Our analysis highlights several interesting phenomena related to the training and career trajectory of Pathology Informatics fellowship alumni. We note the long training track alumni complete in preparation for their careers. We believe flexible training pathways combining informatics and clinical training may help to alleviate the burden. We highlight the importance of in-house Pathology Informatics fellowships in promoting interest in informatics among residents. We also observe the many important leadership roles in academia, large community health systems, and industry available to early career alumni and believe this reflects a strong market for formally trained informaticians. We hope this analysis will be useful as we continue to develop the informatics fellowships to meet the future needs of our trainees and discipline.

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