Is the time right for direct entry into a career in health and biomedical informatics?
de Lusignan S., Ellis B.
These three educational pathways appear to offer a range of complementary entry routes, targeting different student groups. However, we in the health informatics community need to consider what additional support potential students might receive to ease their passage from learner to a career in health informatics. Our suggestions for the UK, which could be replicated internationally, are: • The BCS should consider improved access to its healthcare specialist groups and conferences for students on recognised courses. • The NHS should systematically develop work experience placements for health informatics students on approved courses. • UKCHIP could consider providing provisional registration for newly-qualified health informaticians while they acquire the necessary experience for full registration. It could approve specific courses for particular levels of registration. • Journals and conferences associated with the major health informatics associations could consider much lower subscriptions for health informatics students. Higher education is developing a professional health informatics community. The time is right for school leavers to have a direct route into this career. Within the next five years larger numbers of school leavers will start to move into health informatics de novo. © 2005 PHCSG, British Computer Society.