Academic Tracks

A unique feature of this Ph.D. program is its interdisciplinary approach. The program combines the collective strengths of the participating disciplines to offer advanced training that integrates clinical and administrative applications of information technology in medicine and health care.

The program curriculum includes core course work in human pathophysiology, databases, medical informatics and medical ethics. Students will specialize in one of six areas of concentration. Courses are offered by UWM or Medical College of Wisconsin and, in some case, both institutions.

Courses for all tracks can be found here.

Translational Bioinformatics Track

This track drives the flow of knowledge from “bench to bedside,” bridging the gap between basic and clinical informatics research. This discipline has applications for drug development, genetics research and the use of animal models to develop new understandings or treatments, with implications for both basic science and commercialization.

Knowledge-Based Systems Track

In this track, students develop techniques to support clinical and administrative decision-making in medical practice and provide customized instruction on health and medical topics for patients and health care providers. Technical areas include decision analysis, expected utility theory and cost-effectiveness analysis, computer-based decision support systems, user modeling and user interface design, intelligent tutoring systems, knowledge representation, structured reporting, and data mining and knowledge discovery.

Health Services Management & Policy Track

This track touches on all standard functional business areas (e.g., management, strategy and marketing, finance/economics, management information systems, human resources management) as well as government health policy/reimbursement/regulation, insurance and other payer mechanisms, management of health professionals and illness/health in individuals and in populations. Students will learn to deal with both management information and health and illness information and research, understand their implications and transform inferences from data and research into practical recommendations on the national, state and local level. This track is relevant for health services settings including hospitals, skilled-nursing facilities, medical group practices, public health agencies, mental health services, managed care organizations, and integrated health networks.

Health Information Systems Track

This track explores the role of administrative and clinical information systems in health care organizations. Attention will focus on the design, implementation and maintenance of the broad array of computer applications used in the health care industry. An interdisciplinary approach will be taken drawing on expertise from the health professions, management information systems, and library and information science. Curricular content will include systems analysis and design, system efficacy and management and e-commerce.

Medical Imaging and Instrumentation Track

In this track, students come to understand and learn how to develop medical imaging systems and medical electronic instrumentation. Emphasis is placed on medical imaging systems, image processing, computer vision, pattern recognition, medical instrumentation development and optimization, computer modeling, applications of electric and magnetic fields and wireless communication.

Public Health Informatics Track

This track trains students to develop techniques, methods and tools to conduct public health research and provide public health programs and tools for practical use. Graduates will also be able to provide customized instruction on public health and related biomedical topics for public health workers, the public and others (such as those in public health policy who benefit from public health informatics). Technical areas include databases, tools and techniques for acquiring, processing, warehousing and analyzing public health data. Other areas of expertise include utility theory and cost-effectiveness analysis, computer-based decision support systems, user modeling and user interface design, intelligent tutoring systems, structured reporting and data mining.