Medical Subspecialty Board of Clinical Informatics

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Certification in Clinical Informatics is a joint and equal function of the The American Board of Pathology (ABPath) and The American Board of Preventive Medicine (ABPM). Such function relates to qualification of applicants, standards of examinations, and the form of the certificate.

Qualification and Admission Requirements

The following are the admission requirements for certification in the subspecialty of Clinical Informatics:

ABMS Member Board Certification: Current certification by at least one of the Member Boards of American Board of Medical Subspecialties (ABMS) is required. A complete list of ABMS member boards is available on the ABMS website at Those physicians board certified by the American Board of Pathology (ABPath) must apply through ABPath. All other physicians who meet the eligibility requirements must apply through the ABPM.


Medical School: Graduation is required from a medical school in the United States which at the time of the applicant’s graduation was accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, a school of osteopathic medicine approved by the American Osteopathic Association, an accredited medical school in Canada, or a medical school located outside the United States and Canada that is deemed satisfactory to the Board.


Current License(s): Unrestricted and currently valid license(s) to practice medicine in a State, the District of Columbia, a Territory, Commonwealth, or possession of the United States, or in a Province of Canada is required. No license may be restricted, revoked, or suspended or currently under such notice.


Completion of one of the pathways described below will be acceptable through 2017. Beginning in 2018, all applicants for certification in Clinical Informatics will have to complete successfully a minimum of 24 months in an ACGME-accredited Clinical Informatics fellowship program.


- Three years of practice in Clinical Informatics is required. Practice time must be at least 25% of Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) to be considered. Practice time need not be continuous, however, all practice time must have occurred in the five-year interval immediately preceding application for certification.

- Practice must consist of broad-based professional activity with significant Clinical Informatics responsibility. Documentation of Clinical Informatics research and teaching activities may also be submitted for review.

- Verification is required that the equivalent of at least 3 years of an individual's professional time has been devoted to the practice of clinical informatics during the five years prior to application for the examination. A person or persons who are knowledgeable about the applicant’s practice, such as the chief of staff, the applicable department chair, the director of a related Clinical Informatics training program, or the director of the clinical informatics program in the related institution must complete the verification. Completion of the verification by a partner or practice associate is not acceptable. The verification form will be available at the time of application.

For those who completed non-accredited fellowship training of less than 24 months, the fellowship training curriculum as well as a description of the actual training must also be submitted. The applicant must submit evidence of additional practice to satisfy any additional Practice Pathway requirements.



Completion of a fellowship program of at least 24 months in duration that is acceptable to the ABPM is required. The non-accredited fellowship training curriculum as well as a description of the actual training must be submitted. Training in a non-accredited fellowship program of less than 24 months in duration may be applied toward the practice pathway (see Practice Pathway above). Starting in 2018, only programs that are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) will be accepted.

Registration and Applications

The application and registration forms can be found at

Clinical Informatics Diplomates

A list of current Clinical Informatics Diplomates (updated by AMIA) can be found here

Official Content Outline

The following Reference materials and Content outline are posted on the ABPath website.

ABPath makes the following disclaimer;

The outlines and lists are not claimed to be all-inclusive or definitive. Although the Guide will be revised from time to time, the Board makes no claim that cited texts are best or most current and cannot assure that persons who read any or all listed texts will achieve competence or perform at some predictable level on the examination.

Reference Materials


DeGoulet P, Fieschi M. 1997. Introduction to Clinical Informatics. New York: Springer-Verlag.

Friedman CP, Wyatt JC. 2006. Evaluation Methods in Biomedical Informatics. New York: Springer-Verlag.

Greenes RA. 2003. Clinical Decision Support; The Road Ahead. Oxford, UK: Elsevier.

O’Carroll PW, Yasnoff WA, Ward ME, Ripp LH, Martin EL. 2003. Public Health Informatics and Information Systems. New York: Springer-Verlag.

Shortliffe EH, Cimino JJ. 2006. Biomedical Informatics: Computer Applications in Health Care and Biomedicine. New York: Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Van Bemmel J, Musen MA. 1997. Handbook of Medical Informatics. Houten, the Netherland: Bohn Stafleu.

Journals (previous five years)

AI Medicine (AIM)

Applied Clinical Informatics Journal (ACI)

Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine (CMPBM)

Computers in Biology and Medicine (CBM)

International Journal of Medical Informatics (IJMI)

Journal of Applied Clinical Informatics (JACI)

Journal of Biomedical Informatics (JBI)

Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR)

Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA)

Medical Decision Making (MDM)

Methods of Information in Medicine (MIM)

Percentage Distribution of Test Items

1. Fundamentals 10%

2. Clinical Decision Making and Care Process Improvement 30%

3. Health Information Systems 40%

4. Leading and Managing Change 20%

Content Outline

1. Fundamentals: The basic knowledge that provides clinical informaticians with a common vocabulary and understanding of the environment in which they function.

1.1 Clinical Informatics

1.1.1 The discipline of informatics

1.1.2 Key informatics concepts, models, and theories

1.1.3 Clinical informatics literature

1.1.4 International clinical informatics practices

1.1.5 Ethics and professionalism

1.1.6 Legal and regulatory issues

1.2 The Health System

1.2.1 Determinants of individual and population health

1.2.2 Primary domains, organizational structures, cultures, and processes

1.2.3 The flow of data, information, and knowledge within the health system

1.2.4 Policy & regulatory framework

1.2.5 Health economics and financing

1.2.6 Forces shaping health care delivery

1.2.7 Institute of Medicine quality components

2. Clinical Decision Making and Care Process Improvement: The knowledge and skills that enable a clinical informatician to implement effective clinical decision making systems and participate in the development of clinical processes that support effective, efficient, safe, timely, equitable, and patient-centered care.

2.1 Clinical Decision Support

2.1.1 The nature and cognitive aspects of human decision making

2.1.2 Decision science

2.1.3 Application of clinical decision support

2.1.4 Transformation of knowledge into clinical decision support tools

2.1.5 Legal, ethical, and regulatory issues

2.1.6 Quality and safety issues

2.1.7 Supporting decisions for populations of patients

2.2 Evidence-based Patient Care

2.2.1 Evidence sources

2.2.2 Evidence grading

2.2.3 Clinical guidelines

2.2.4 Implementation of guidelines as clinical algorithms

2.2.5 Information retrieval and analysis

2.3 Clinical Workflow Analysis, Process Redesign, and Quality Improvement

2.3.1 Methods of workflow analysis

2.3.2 Principles of workflow re-engineering

2.3.3 Quality improvement principles and Practices

3. Health Information Systems: The knowledge and skills that enable a clinical informatician to participate in the development or selection of an information system for clinicians; prepare clinicians prior to implementation and support them during implementation and ongoing operation of a clinical information system; and evaluate the effectiveness of a system in meeting clinical needs.

3.1 Information Technology Systems

3.1.1 Computer Systems

3.1.2 Architecture

3.1.3 Networks

3.1.4 Security

3.1.5 Data

3.1.6 Technical approaches that enable sharing data

3.2 Human Factors Engineering

3.2.1 Models, theories, and practices of human-computer (machine) interaction

3.2.2 HCI Evaluation, usability testing, study design and methods

3.2.3 Interface design standards and design principles

3.2.4 Usability engineering

3.3 Health Information Systems and Applications

3.3.1 Types of functions offered by systems

3.3.2 Types of settings where systems are used

3.3.3 Electronic health/medical records systems as the foundational tool

3.3.4 Telemedicine

3.4 Clinical Data Standards

3.4.1 Standards development history and current process

3.4.2 Data standards and data sharing

3.4.3 Transaction standards

3.4.4 Messaging standards

3.4.5 Nomenclatures, vocabularies, and terminologies

3.4.6 Ontologies and taxonomies

3.4.7 Interoperability standards

3.5 Information System Lifecycle

3.5.1 Institutional governance of clinical information systems

3.5.2 Clinical information needs analysis and system selection

3.5.3 Clinical information system implementation

3.5.4 Clinical information system testing before, during and after implementation

3.5.5 Clinical information system maintenance

3.5.6 Clinical information system evaluation

4. Leading and Managing Change: The knowledge and skills that enable clinical informaticians to lead and manage changes associated with implementing clinical information systems and promoting adoption by health professionals.

4.1 Leadership Models, Processes, and Practices

4.1.1 Dimensions of effective leadership

4.1.2 Governance (e.g., processes; responsibility versus authority)

4.1.3 Negotiation

4.1.4 Conflict management

4.1.5 Collaboration

4.1.6 Motivation

4.1.7 Decision making

4.2 Effective Interdisciplinary Teams

4.2.1 Human resources management (e.g., hiring, performance reviews and feedback, professional development, termination)

4.2.2 Team productivity and effectiveness (e.g., articulating team goals, defining rules of operation, clarifying individual roles)

4.2.3 Group management processes (e.g., nominal group, consensus mapping, Delphi method)

4.2.4 Managing meetings

4.2.5 Managing group deliberations

4.3 Effective Communications

4.3.1 Effective presentations to groups

4.3.2 Effective one-on-one communication

4.3.3 Writing effectively for various audiences and goals

4.3.4 Developing effective communications program to support system implementation

4.4 Project Management

4.4.1 Basic principles

4.4.2 Identifying resources

4.4.3 Resource allocation

4.4.4 Project management tools (non-software specific)

4.4.5 Informatics project challenges

4.5 Strategic and Financial Planning for Clinical Information Systems

4.5.1 Establishing mission and objectives

4.5.2 Environmental scanning

4.5.3 Strategy formulation

4.5.4 Action planning and strategy implementation

4.5.5 Capital and operating budgeting

4.5.6 Principles of managerial accounting

4.5.7 Evaluation of planning process

4.6 Change Management

4.6.1 Assessment of organizational culture and behavior

4.6.2 Change theories (e.g., precede-proceed, social influence theories, complex adaptive systems)

4.6.3 Change management strategies

4.6.4 Strategies for promoting adoption and effective use of clinical information systems

Other useful resources

Informatics Professor Blog. William Hersh, MD.

AMIA-OHSU 10x10 Program

AMIA Clinical Informatics Board Review Course

American Association of Physician Leadership Health IT Certificate

Health Informatics: Practical Guide for Healthcare and Information Technology Professionals by Robert E. Hoyt, et al.

Healthcare Information Systems: A Practical Approach for Health Care Management by Karen A. Wager, et al.

Certified Professional in Healthcare Information & Management Systems (CPHIMS) exam prep textbook

Leading Change by John P. Kotter


1. The American Board of Preventive Medicine Clinical Informatics Board Certification.

2. Clinical Informatics Study Guide and Examination Content Outline. The American Board of Pathology.

3. A very helpful e-mail from Justin T. Collier MD posted on the AMDIS listserv.

Submitted by (Azzat Ali)