Defining Clinical Informatics – Andrew Boyd, MD

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Andrew Boyd, MD

Summary: Dr. Boyd defines clinical informatics and discusses its history.


Clinical informatics, as the term has evolved over the last two or three years, is a medical board subspecialization. If you’re a physician, you have to take an initial board in pediatrics, internal medicine, neurology. Clinical informatics is the unique subspecialization in medicine where anyone who sat for any board in medicine can sit for the clinical informatics subspecialization. Right now, clinical informatics is a new subspecialty, and there’s a grandfathering period where for five years if you have degree experience as well as a previous board, you can then sit for the board. Otherwise in about four years you will have a two-year fellowship on top of whatever your initial board is in medicine.

To be a pediatric clinical informatician, you would then have additional two years of clinical informatics training on top of your pediatric residency training. Since the pediatric residency training is three years, it would be a total of five years for a training program. But since we are still in the intermediate period between the full fellowship programs and people have been doing this for the last twenty or thirty years, we are during the grandfather period. The first board, the first test to become a clinical informatician was in October, so that starts the grandfathering clock. You have five years in order to fall under the grandfathering period. Otherwise you will have to do a two-year clinical informatics subspecialty fellowship.