Informatics certificate vs fellowship

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Feb 13, 2020
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I am a PM&R resident with an MBA. Informatics piqued my interest to supplement my clinical training, and think it would be valuable skill to have as a physician executive. I am unsure if I am willing to do the extra 2 years of informatics fellowship without noticeable increase in compensation for formal positions like CMIO, etc. compared to base physiatry compensation. Has anyone done the online certification route? Was the lack of fellowship training a barrier from getting involved with informatics/leading projects in informatics as a clinician? I just thought with an MBA a masters or fellowship would be overkill and may not be worth the opportunity cost. Any thought from those in admin about how valuable a cert would be on top of MBA after residency. Thanks for the advice

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If you want to do informatics, go do it. Some might prefer it because its a way to reduce or not have clinical hours but instead have a desk job.

As far as climbing the admin ladder tree goes, you will be competing with all the CEOs who put their time in at the smaller critical care access hospitals and move around the country every 2-3 years to bigger better hospital positions. If this is what you want, then this is one approach but it will take a pay cut to be the CEO at middle of no where 25 bed hospital.

Others climb internally the admin tree of a hospital and health system, but again the top position is likely to have competition from the traditional CEO. Unless you specifically seek out and start working with a health system organization to preferences physicians, like Cleveland Clinic. However, there is steep competition within these organizations, don't assume you'll get there.

I have seen middle management physician admin positions held in health systems and the people who get them are those who toe the line, don't rock the boat and do what the people above them want. In other words they sell their soul. My observation is that the Peter Principle is in full force. So recognizing this, the less education you get, the less certificates you get, the higher you will climb in the admin ladder.
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I considered this same question for quite a while when I was thinking of focusing my career on informatics. I do not think that an online certification adds very much for a medical doctor - especially if you also have an MBA. The fellowship may be worth it if you think the formal training would give you the knowledge and skills you need for a certain job you're interested in.

If you've done a significant amount of work in clinical informatics already, you can get board certified without doing a fellowship for the next couple of years: How to get an ABMS board certification without fellowship | Look for Zebras