The Master of Medical Science in Biomedical Informatics at Harvard Medical School is a two-year post-doctoral degree program consisting of didactic course work, a seminar series, and a mentored research project. The program is open to federally funded post-doctoral fellows at Harvard and its affiliated hospitals.
Each student chooses from one of four possible tracks:
- Clinical Informatics
- Population Health Informatics
- Imaging Informatics
A written thesis and an oral presentation and defense of the thesis is required.
Fellows completing their research training with the Laboratory of Computer Science will work closely with the program directors, Drs. Henry Chueh and William Lester, in specifying a problem and designing a project that is closely related to the interests of the laboratory and in an area in which the lab has independent financial support.
Although fellows often work with a team of LCS computer scientists and physicians in the development of the research project, each fellow must become proficient enough in computer programming to be able to carry out relatively independent project development.
The fellow will have primary responsibility for the specification and execution of a project and is expected to write up the research, to present it at national meetings, and to prepare manuscripts for publication.
The most appropriate candidates for the fellowship at the Laboratory of Computer Science (LCS) are those individuals who combine a commitment to the practice of medicine with a background in computer science. Most applicants are physicians. Completion of internship is strongly preferred, and fulfillment of residency is advised.
Citizenship or Permanent Residency
This training program is sponsored by the United States (US) government through the National Library of Medicine. It is necessary that all applicants be either US citizens or have a permanent resident visa.
Special exceptions have been made for individuals with an unusually strong technical background in an area of particular interest to the Lab. However, there are no funds available from LCS to provide fellowship financial support to non-US citizens. In these circumstances, the individual must provide his or her own salary support and health insurance.
Fellows who have completed residency may take advantage of the opportunity to moonlight in the Massachusetts General Hospital Medical Walk-In Unit (MWIU). In the MWIU, adults requiring urgent care are seen on a first-come, first-served basis without needing an appointment.
Stipends are available for United States citizens and permanent residents through support by the National Library of Medicine. Tuition and fees, health insurance, and travel expenses are provided for supported fellows. Other individuals who are not US citizens or permanent residents may be considered for fellowship status under special circumstances but must have their own external sources of financial support.
Alumni of the LCS Fellowship
Individuals who go through this training program often continue in academic medicine with a strong focus on medical informatics and spend a significant portion of their professional careers in the development and support of computer-based applications in medical care, education, and research. Many alumni of the LCS fellowship now hold academic posts in hospitals and universities, while others have gone on to Chief Information Officer (CIO) or consulting roles.