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VA Advanced Fellowship in Medical Informatics

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Program Description and Learning Environment

The Advanced Fellowship in Medical Informatics is a 2-year paid full-time interprofessional post-graduate fellowship through the VA Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA). The goal of the program is to develop experts in healthcare informatics use, dissemination, education, and research. As there is no formal local curriculum for the fellowship, the schedule is flexible. In general, fellows participate in research conferences at the VA and the University of Utah and work on short-term and long-term informatics projects under the guidance of a mentor. By arrangement, fellows can rotate with the local Medical Informatics Service/Chief Health Informatics Officer. Fellows who are licensed clinicians (physicians, pharmacists, dentists, nurses. psychologists, and others) may maintain a continuity clinic or other clinical duties based on their clinical specialty/subspecialty. An individualized development plan (IDP) is used to assess current skills and strengths, career goals, research and career skill training goals, and research productivity goals. We offer exceptional mentor, collaboration, and training opportunities with accomplished investigators, leaders, and programs​.

About Salt Lake City

Utah is one of the fastest growing states in the West. Salt Lake and its surrounding cities are renowned for the beautiful backdrop of the Wasatch Range Mountains. The outdoor recreational activities are endless, from world-class skiing, hiking, biking, boating, fishing, climbing…you name it! It is also near many state and national parks. There is something to enjoy during each season. In addition to the natural playground, Salt Lake is also a great location for urban enthusiasts. The thriving downtown area offers local shops, restaurants, festivals, concerts, and other activities. The neighborhoods in the Salt Lake Valley are diverse with unique quirks. There is also a newly expanded international airport, robust mass transit system, bike and scooter sharing systems, and designated bike lanes making it easy to get around and explore. If you are a sports fan, it is also home to the Utah Jazz, Real Salt Lake, and many college teams. Salt Lake City has it all. It is a great place to work, live, and play.

About the HSR&D Site

The fellowship is located at the  VA Salt Lake City Health Care System (VASLCHCS). It is affiliated with the University of Utah and the VA Informatics, Decision-Enhancement, and Analytic Sciences (IDEAS) Center. The mission of the IDEAS Center is to advance scientific discovery, implement novel interventions, promote cross-center collaboration, increase research capacity, and engage Veterans and operational partners to improve Veteran health. IDEAS seeks to drive the transformation or health care delivery in Veterans Health Administration (VHA) through an integrated portfolio of transitional research, specifically to apply qualitative and quantitative methods of inquiry to elicit stakeholder perspectives, characterize clinical gaps, and identify information needs.

VASLCHCS has the environment, leaders, and academic, operational, and collaborative partners to train and mentor fellows for a future in VA of cutting-edge research, interprofessional collaboration, and first-class scholarly productivity focused on VA health care delivery. It has a robust interprofessional learning environment and wealth of educational resources and expertise. Our unique strengths include: 1) exceptional clinical learning environment 2) rich and diverse research programs and partners 3) extraordinary research and educational resources available 4) outstanding and committed academic affiliates. VASLCHSC hosts 5 different VA OAA fellowships, giving fellows the opportunity to connect with a wide range of mentors, collaborators, and other fellows.


Cross-Program Collaboration

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 With 5 total Office of Academic Affiliations Advanced Fellowships at the VASLCHCS, we have a cohesive community of Veteran-centric research trainees. We offer dedicated activities and events aimed at increasing cross-program collaboration, camaraderie, and peer mentoring. These include:

  • Annual Orientation and Capstone: Orientations will cover common content and introduce the new fellows to each other. Outgoing fellows will present their accomplishments at annual capstone events for all new and current fellows.
  • Biweekly Data & Informatics Topics: A series with topics focusing on VA data structure, provenance, and searching for the data that fellows may need for their nascent projects. SQL is introduced, as well as basics about best practices, the research operations divide, regulatory issues, cybersecurity, encryption, and re-identification risk.
  • Monthly Faculty Meet-and-Greets: Monthly lunch events hosted by a different IDEAS faculty member as a means of introducing our faculty and their research and outside interests to the fellows at a more personal, informal level.
  • Quarterly ACOS-R Meeting: Our ACOS-Research will host quarterly meetings with invited leaders from within and outside VA to talk informally about their work and their career paths. Fellows will have the opportunity to meet and network with field leaders and to see the variety of career paths available to them. Individuals from organizations from AHRQ HRSA, CDC, PCORI, and the VISN and local facility will be invited.
  • Annual Research Symposium: Fellows will present posters and oral presentations on their work for their colleagues, mentors, and the VASLCHCS research and clinical communities.

Salary and Benefits

The fellowship includes a competitive stipend with federal employee health benefits. Salary is commensurate to experience and is similar to NIH (scientists) and postgraduate year (clinician) scales. Personal workspace with office support and access to IDEAS resources will be provided

Eligibility and Application Process

Applicants must be US citizens. Clinical (e.g., physicians, nurses, pharmacists, psychologists, social workers) and non-clinical associated health professionals (e.g., epidemiologists, data scientists, population health scientists, etc.) with doctoral degrees or nearing the end of their doctoral training are eligible to apply.  The application process requires a CV and cover letter, but it is recommended that interested individuals meet with the directors to discuss interests and opportunities before applying.  For a full list of eligibility requirements or more information about the program, please contact Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.