Saturday, December 7, 2013

I'm a Clinical Informatics Subspecialist!

I received notification this weekend that I passed the clinical informatics subspecialty certification exam, which means I can now proudly call myself a subspecialist in clinical informatics. I am delighted that the years of effort initially undertaken by the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) have culminated in this outcome.

What does this make me a specialist/expert in? I like the recent definition of the subspecialty by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME): "Clinical informatics is the subspecialty of all medical specialties that transforms health care by analyzing, designing, implementing, and evaluating information and communication systems to improve patient care, enhance access to care, advance individual and population health outcomes, and strengthen the clinician-patient relationship."

I took the exam, administered by the American Board of Preventive Medicine (ABPM), in October. I was no doubt well-prepared by my prolific teaching of informatics, including being the Director of the AMIA Clinical Informatics Board Review Course. The exam covered the material of the core content outline of the field in a representative manner, even if the multiple-choice format somewhat limited the kinds of questions that could be asked.

I am also pleased to report that all OHSU faculty who sat for the clinical informatics subspecialty board exam passed it, which means that we have 6 clinical informatics sub specialists at OHSU. In addition to myself, this includes:
  • Eilis Boudreau, MD, PhD
  • Michael Chiang, MD, MA
  • Michael Lieberman, MD, MS
  • Vishnu Mohan, MD, MBI
  • Thomas Yackel, MD, MS
It is also interesting to browse the (small amount of) statistical data that ABPM provided in the letter announcing the exam results. If the minimum passing score is 450, then that would mean 91% of all who took the exam passed it. This means a total of 444 people passed the exam.

The work of building the specialty will now continue. We are doing our part at OHSU by continuing to develop our fellowship program we hope will be accredited by the ACGME when its rules are finalized next year. OHSU will likely offer continuing medical education (CME). And of course, OHSU will continue to be a leader in educating the rest of the informatics field as well in our graduate educational programs.


  1. Congratulations on passing your most recent certification exam. Congratulations extended to your team. It is very exciting to see the growth at OHSU. Here's to continued success. Best Wishes.

  2. Is it the minimum passing score of 450 on the site or number of candidates that too the test?

    1. The 450 is a standardized score. We don't know the actual rate correct for passing.