Background: Medical Informatics (MI) is increasingly a critical aspect of medical education and patient care. Aims: This study assessed the status of MI training, perception of needs and barriers for the implementation of MI curricula and utilization of information technology (IT) in patient care and medical education. Method: The MI questionnaire was a part of the 2006 Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine survey of 110 institutional members. Descriptive statistics were calculated using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), version 12 and all p-values are two-tailed. Results: Eighty-three (75%) members responded. Out of this, 52, 32.5 and 12% report that students receive MI training for patient care activities during pre-clinical years, third-year internal medicine clerkship or intersession, respectively. House staff critiques (46.4%), patient billing (44.1%), radiographic imaging (40.8%), accessing clinical data (37.3%), and student evaluations (36.1%) were areas in which 35% of respondents use IT 'all the time.' Fifty-one percent of respondents rate the adequacy of training in MI as average. Cost, time and lack of trained faculty were primary barriers for the implementation. Conclusions: Significant variations exist in timing of MI curricula. IT is utilized more frequently for non-patient activities. Studies are needed to examine the needs, processes and outcomes of MI curricula.
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