The best research in medical informatics necessarily draws on many types of training, and, perhaps for this reason, it sometimes goes by slightly different names.

"Some of the labs around the country that do similar things to what we do would call their labs biomedical engineering," says Nunzia Giuse, a research assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.

"Or they would call it artificial intelligence in medicine. You also find informaticians, people who have degrees in information science and library science. These are closely related, as well as computer scientists. But they're all doing the same thing."

And it is clear that medical informatics has become a field of advanced research in itself. Graduates of medical informatics training programs are now involved in several commercial software research and development efforts, according to Frisse, some of which have no biomedical component. Alumni of the Stanford University medical informatics program,...

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