Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Response to a "Miserable Intern"

A "miserable intern" asked me a question the other day. The summarized question was: Should I continue through this miserable residency? I'm really interested in technology and I'm not even in the specialty of my choice because I didn't match into it. I hate internship and I want to quit. Help!

Here was my reply:

If you can stick with residency and complete it, you'll be in a much better position. I encourage you to do that. Maybe you'll be happier in a different specialty?

Why didn't you match into ? Is there something you can do to try again? If you're willing to devote 1 year to research, then you may have a solid chance. I know several students who were able to get into a very competitive residency because they were willing to devote a full year to research.

The world of health IT is growing rapidly, especially because of Obama's stimulus plan. There are many opportunities in this field, but you'll be in a better position to pursue most of them if you've completed your residency. In fact, you'll be in the best position if you complete a fellowship in medical informatics. Or, you can get a master's degree in bioinformatics, medical informatics, or health informatics. (Each university has a different term for this degree - isn't that confusing?)

Pursue that path and in several years (or more) you may find yourself being the Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO)/Director of Health Informatics somewhere. You can send me a check for my free advice when you get there!

Take a look at this: Working as a Chief Medical Information Officer

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