I once found inspiration in a poster. It was during college spring break and I couldn’t afford to travel. Instead I skated up and down empty hallways, outside lecture rooms and faculty offices. I untacked a poster from a bulletin board that was better than any of my Aerosmith artwork and hung it in my room. The poster advertised an upcoming conference in medical informatics.
I was grateful to be majoring in statistics. I really loved the possibilities but was unsure of what kind of job I could get with the degree. As the first statistics major at Carnegie-Mellon, I needed a sense of “sameness”. I wanted to be part of an established tribe, like the engineers, business majors and dramatists. The promise of the poster was the existence of an interprofessional collaboration in an emerging field. It was an awakening that I could explore possibilities beyond the known, partnering with smart people who saw opportunities in different ways. That poster hung on my wall even after graduation and helped me navigate graduate school and the job market with an identity. I continue to find this sense of professional belonging among informaticists.
I have trained at the National Institutes of Health, held leadership positions at a brand new medical school in Northeastern Pennsylvania, and many hospital systems, both large and small. My work is defined by the needs of the organization and doesn’t always look like “informatics.” I love my job and I’m grateful that I gain everyday inspiration from an interprofessional team of physicians, pharmacists and scientists. The real world of informatics is much better than “as advertised.”
About the Author
Dr. Hogan is the Director of Faculty Development at the UPMC St. Margaret Family Medicine Residency Program and Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Pittsburgh Family Medicine Department.
Prior to rejoining UPMC, Linda was a founding Professor of Medicine for The Commonwealth Medical College (TCMC) in Scranton, PA. She also served as TCMC’s Assistant Dean for Medical Informatics and adjunct professor to the graduate school at the University of Scranton. Her prior experience with UPMC, includes 12 years of service to Mercy Hospital, where Dr. Hogan was the Vice President of Clinical Operations & Informatics. Her research interests include data mining of biomedical databases for new knowledge discovery, assessing the quality of health information on the Web, dissemination of evidence-based practice, and clinical analytics.