Reasons to Pursue a Career in Medical Informatics – Interview with Dr. Brian Young – 014

An Evolving Career in High Demand

In this podcast episode, I speak with Dr. Brian Young about medical informatics.

He is an Enterprise Physician Informaticist with Dignity Health, a 38-hospital system with sites in California, Nevada and Arizona.

Brian received his medical training at Wake Forest, a master’s degree in predictive analytics at Northwestern University, and his MBA from the University of Cincinnati.

He is a credentialed Epic trainer and has been involved with multiple implementations in both inpatient and outpatient environments.

medical informatics

I heard Brian speak at the annual SEAK conference on Nonclinical Careers for Physicians in October. I found his presentation to be very interesting. The field of informatics is growing quickly and there should be heavy demand for medical informaticists far into the future. But, it’s also a field which is rapidly changing.

Here is more information about the work that Brian does as a Physician Informaticist at Dignity Health (from his LinkedIn profile):

“Work in my role aids development of state of the art analytical tools and techniques, which will result in improved financial, clinical and operational analytics with patient experience outcomes.

“I use knowledge of Dignity Health’s informatics infrastructure, analytical tools, information systems, and other data stores to construct analytical models to support operational and clinical analyses, and help develop a model of self- service reporting for responsible business units or organizations.

“I research and help design and implement analytical solutions to improve processes, measure clinical quality goals, and develop predictive models for patient and population specific goals.

“Scope of responsibilities includes: setting and managing strategic goals and tactical objectives; project management; and leadership support of Quality Management & Improvement through Health Analytics which includes but is not limited to predictive models, data-mining, forecasting and model optimization. Relies on expert judgment to plan, execute and achieve goals and objectives, establishes and monitors customer service levels.”

Medical Informatics

Here are some of the topics we covered during our conversation:

  • Describe Informatics. What does it mean to be a medical- or physician-informaticist?
  • What do you like about informatics?
  • How has your role evolved over time?
  • What are the most common opportunities for physicians in this field?
  • What are the characteristics of a good physician informaticist?
  • How would you advise a physician who is interested in career transition to this field?
    • Associations to join?
    • Courses to take?
    • Journals to follow?
    • Certifications or degrees? How necessary are they?
  • Will the salary equal that of a clinical position?

In Closing

That’s it for today’s episode. We hit on many aspects of medical informatics. I found Brian’s story quite inspirational.

My next episode will be a conversation with an interesting physician leadership coach. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast on the Apple Podcast App and sign up for my newsletter so you don’t miss it, using the form below.

And join me next time on Physician Nonclinical Careers.


Here is a list of resources mentioned in this episode:

Show Notes Episode 014

Medical Informatics - An Emerging Academic Discipline and Institutional Priority
From Data Mining to Knowledge Discovery in Databases
Health Information and Management Systems Society
Healthcare Informatics Top 100 IT Vendors
American Medical Informatics Association
American Health Information Management Association
Health Data Managment Magazine
Board Certification in Clinical Informatics
Dr. Brian Young LinkedIn Profile
Physicians Helping Physicians
Dignity Health

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