America’s biomedical informatics training programs are preparing individuals from diverse personal, educational, and professional backgrounds for a broad range of meaningful career opportunities. These opportunities enable program graduates to leverage biomedical informatics in basic research, medicine, healthcare systems, and other increasingly data-driven areas. 

Program trainees from incredibly diverse backgrounds come together for a distinct moment in time. Biomedical informatics training programs train computer scientists, statisticians, engineers, and data scientists who are interested in learning about and contributing to biology, medicine, and healthcare. There are also individuals from across the healthcare sector—clinical scientists, biologists, medical doctors, healthcare administrators, and entrepreneurs—who want to gain data-related skills to improve health and advance their careers. 

Program participants are excited to be exposed to individuals from very different backgrounds, learn together, and work collaboratively to improve health.

Yet, even as biology and medicine become more data driven, many talented people from wide-ranging backgrounds are not familiar with biomedical informatics and are not aware of the vast opportunities available for individuals with biomedical informatics training.

Nils Gehlenborg, PhD, and Alexa McCray, PhD, from Harvard Medical School’s Department of Biomedical Informatics, want to change that. In serving as co-principal investigators and producers of Connections: Career Paths in Biomedical Informatics, they have led creation of a video series highlighting the personal and professional journeys of graduates from each of the 16 NLM training programs.

In short videos and accompanying case studies, trainees describe their backgrounds and interests, and what drew them to biomedical informatics. Each trainee discusses why they entered a biomedical informatics program, how they chose their specific program, and memorable program experiences. They detail the skills they gained, research they conducted, and the most rewarding aspects about their program—which was often getting to work with a collection of amazing colleagues. 

Each participant also describes the opportunities that have transpired since completing their program, including working in research, medicine, healthcare systems, industry, entrepreneurial startups, academia, government, and more. These trainees explain what they are doing now, how they are applying their biomedical informatics training each day, and how their participation in a biomedical informatics program has affected their career path and their life.  

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