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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Center for Education in Health Sciences
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Health & Biomedical Informatics

Informatics is the study of information: how you collect it, how you organize it and how you use it to solve problems. Health and Biomedical Informatics (HBMI) is informatics applied to healthcare and biomedical research. The HBMI track applies the concepts and techniques of informatics to healthcare and biomedical research. This track contains many different sub-fields within the broader field of health and biomedical informatics. These sub-fields use similar techniques and tools but apply them to different problem areas.


Our investigations address questions ranging from the molecular scale (bioinformatics) through the patient scale (clinical informatics) to whole populations (public health informatics).The figure provides a general sense of the subdomains of informatics, while acknowledging that the sub-field overlap considerably.




The philosophy of our program is to broadly train informaticians.  It is not a health informatics program focusing only on clinical systems, nor is it a bioinformatics program focusing only on molecules. We believe that students must have a familiarity with the broad range of informatics to excel in any of the sub-domains. 


Note: Students with a strong biology background and an interest in computational genomics, may also want to consider the new research emphasis area in the Driskill Graduate Program.


 Required Courses

  • HSIP 400 Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Doctoral Colloquium
  • HSIP 440 Introduction to Medical Informatics
  • EPI_BIO 301 Introduction to Biostatistics
  • HSIP 441, 442, 443 Informatics Methods I, II, III
  • HSIP 401 Introduction to Health Measurement Science

 Choose One Writing Course

  • HSR 462 Grant Writing (0.5 credit)
  • PH 445 Writing and Peer Reviewing for Publication

 Choose One Healthcare and Biomedical Knowledge Course

  • HQS 420 Introduction to Health Management
  • HSR 470 Health Policy
  • IGP 401 Biochemistry
  • IGP 405 Cell Biology
  • IGP 410 Molecular Biology and Genetics
  • IGP 430 Genetics
  • MED_INF 401 American Healthcare System
  • MED_INF 402 Introduction to Clinical Thinking
  • PH 301 Behavior, Society, & Health
  • PH 420 Introduction to Health Management

 Choose One Computation Course

  • EPI BIO 305 Data Management and Programming
  • EPI BIO 428 Bioinformatics and Data Mining
  • MED_INF 406 Decision Support Systems and Health Care
  • MED_INF HIT Integration, Interoperability & Standards
  • MED_INF Introduction to Databases
  • MED_INF Telecommunications & Computer Networks
  • MSCI 305 Introduction to Bioinformatics

 Recommended Electives

  • EPI_BIO 302 Intermediate Biostatistics
  • HQS 440 Fundamental Methods for Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety
  • HSR 425 Introduction to Quantitative Methods in Health Services and Outcomes Research
  • HSR 433 Health Economics and Healthcare Financing
  • HSR 460 Applied Ethical Issues in Health Services Research
  • IBIS 401 Molecular Biophysics
  • IBIS 401 Quantitative Biology
  • IBIS 403 Proteomics, Genomics, and Variation
  • IBIS 407 Genome Scale Science
  • IBIS 426 Signal Transduction and Molecular Pharmacology
  • IGP 422 Introduction to Translational Research
  • IGP 466 Structural Basis of Signal Transduction
  • MED_INF Advanced Decision Analysis
  • MED_INF Health Care Enterprise Operations
  • MED_INF Legal, Ethical & Social Issues in Informatics
  • MED_INF Medical Technology Acquisition & Assessment
  • MSCI 303 Drug Development Process
  • PH 425 Introduction to GIS and Spatial Analysis for Public Health
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