The American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) led the drive to have a clinical informatics subspecialty recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). The AMIA said formal recognition as a subspecialty will help increase and standardize training opportunities for informaticians.
Approval for the new designation came in 2011, but the first board exams weren’t administered until fall of 2013. The first diplomates received news of their board certification last month.
"Clinical informatics has arrived, and I’m proud to be a part of the pioneer class of leaders in this field,” said William Hersh, MD, FACP, FACMI, Professor and Chair of the Department of Medical Informatics & Clinical Epidemiology (DMICE) at Oregon Health & Science University, who received his board certification and directed AMIA’s Clinical Informatics Board Review Course.
According to the AMIA, board certification is open to physicians of all specialties, encouraging interdisciplinary cooperation in the clinical informatics field. Physicians can currently become eligible for the exam by demonstrating practical informatics experience.
However, after five years, candidates for the subspecialty will need to complete an accredited clinical informatics fellowship with the Council on Graduate Medical Education (COGME).
With the increasing adoption of electronic medical records, the new designation could also prove beneficial to informatics job seekers. The AMIA said board-certification provides “an immediately recognized credential for organizations hiring informaticians.”