As most of my world knows, I stepped down as Chair of the Department of Medical Informatics & Clinical Epidemiology (DMICE) at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) at the end of last year. In addition to announcements made by OHSU, I let my world know with postings in this blog, on social media, and via some email lists.
I was gratified by the many nice accolades that I received but one thing was unsettling. This was those who wrote to congratulate me on my retirement. It was unsettling because I wanted to make explicit that I was not retiring, and instead was passing on the leadership to others, initially to interim leaders from the department and eventually culminating in a search for a new permanent Chair. In the meantime, I would continue the teaching, research, writing, and mentoring activities that I enjoy so much.
Nearly a half-year in to my new status, I am indeed enjoying it. I still wake up each work day and get to do the intellectual work of informatics that I love most. My circumstance brings to mind a famous quote, yet which he probably never said, by Samuel Clemons (Mark Twain) that reports of his death were greatly exaggerated.
I am therefore please to state that reports of my retirement are indeed exaggerated. I hope to continue working and be productive in the field for many more years. In fact, my plate is as full as ever, and my main work going forward will continue on the teaching, research, and funded grant projects that currently keep me busy.
My "plate" includes, among other things, the following major activities:
- Introductory course – I have always enjoyed teaching an introductory course in our graduate program as course BMI 510, in the AMIA 10x10 ("ten by ten") program, and for OHSU medical students as MINF 705B/709A. I also enjoy teaching some more advanced topics as well.
- NLM R01 – Semi-structured Information Retrieval in Clinical Text for Cohort Identification, 2021-2026 (Grant R01LM011934). A research grant to developing test collections and methods for applying information retrieval methods to electronic health record data.
- NIH Data Science Initiative for Africa, Computational Omics and Biomedical Informatics Program (COBIP), 2021-2026 (Grant U2RTW012131). A collaboration with the University of Cape Town to build human and data set capacity in Africa.
- NLM T15 Training Grant – Research Training in Biomedical Informatics and Data Science at Oregon Health & Science University, 2022-2027 (Grant T15LM007088). OHSU's informatics training grant to fund PhD students and postdocs.
- NLM R25 Short-Term Research Education Experiences to Attract Talented Students to Biomedical Informatics/Data Science Careers and Enhance Diversity – Attracting Talented and Diverse Students to Biomedical Informatics and Data Science Careers Through Short-Term Study at OHSU, 2022-2027 (Grant R25LM014207). A new NLM initiative to enhance diversity and inclusion in informatics by establishing summer internship programs.
- NIH Bridge2AI Program (Dorr, OHSU PI) – Voice as a Biomarker of Health, NIH Bridge2AI, 2022-2027 (Award OT2OD032720). An NIH initiative to build high-fidelity, ethically-sourced data sets to advance AI research.
As can be seen, I have plenty to keep me busy for some time to come. I plan to continue my work on all of above while supporting the new leadership of the department as it evolves in novel and interesting directions.