We have always known that OHSU students in the distance learning biomedical informatics program live all over the country, and the world, but thanks to Dr. David Dorr and Kelly Jones-Weir, we now have a graphical depiction of their distribution across the United States. Each dot (star) in the figure below represents where one student lives.
The concentration of dots in the Portland area represents an interesting phenomenon. We have a number of what we call "local distance" students in the program, who are people that live in the Portland area yet are enrolled in our distance program. For the most part, these individuals prefer the flexibility that the on-line courses offer. Some may have jobs or other obligations during the day when on-campus classes are offered. One nice aspect is that they take part in other program activities, such as our local research conferences and other events.
In addition to students from the US, we also have students from a number of different countries. Some of these students come to Oregon to study but others are distance learning students (who even come on-campus for our hybrid short courses, as all master's students must do). The countries with one or more students in the program include:
- New Caledonia
- Saudi Arabia
- United Kingdom
While our program is somewhat US-centric, since those who practice informatics in the US must understand the nuances (some might say craziness) of the US healthcare system, I have also noted in the past that many informatics problems and solutions are global in their nature.