I'm currently on the fence about pursuing a doctorate in informatics, anyone currently pursuing or completed a doctorate program? Any recommendations of colleges? I'm leaning towards as much online as possible, it's not feasible at this time to uproot 4 kids and move. Any advice appreciated!
Aug 9, '11
I just finished a PhD in Nursing but my specialty was informatics and I will be starting a post-doc in biomedical informatics soon. I can try an answer your questions but first I need to know a few things. What type of research would you like to do? What kind of work do you want to do when you'll finish?
Aug 10, '11
There are a few areas that I have some interest in:
human factor engineering
distance education and simulation
social network analysis
Haven't really found my niche yet, the VA system where I work has many programs that i can sink my teeth into, but it would depend on the schooling that I can get into. The telehealth and human factor engineering are probably my two top areas of concentration.
Aug 10, '11
So the most important factor in selecting a PhD program is finding a mentor whose research interests match yours. It's really better to go to a lower ranked school with a good mentor then to go to a good school with a bad match. I generally tell people to stay away from online programs because generally they are unfunded (an I don't think anyone should pay for an informatics or nursing PhD) and most seem to just be for people who want the credential to teach, not really do research, which I am gathering is what you want to do. Though I can understand your not wanting to move with kids. It's been a while since I applied so I'm not sure if there have been improvements in online offerings.
Another thing you could do is attend the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA.org) in October. That will make it easy to identify people who are doing research that your interested in and possibly meet them (giving you a leg up in the admissions process). Also, almost all the biomedical informatics programs have booths there so you can find out about applying. If you want you can also PM and I can give you more detailed information about my particular program if you're interested.
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