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Medical Informatics

Medical Informatics

Medical Informatics


Accepting Applications

Program Co-Directors:  

Douglas Owens, MD, MS, Senior Investigator, VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Professor of Medicine (General Internal Medicine) and by courtesy, of Health Research and Policy, and Core Faculty Member, Center for Health Policy/Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research, Stanford University

Ruth Cronkite, Ph.D., Research Health Science Specialist, Center for Health Care Evaluation, Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, Consulting Professor (Sociology), and Affiliate, Center for Health Policy/Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research, Stanford University

Program Associate Director:  

Mary K. Goldstein, M.D., M.Sc., Associate Director for Clinical Services, Geriatrics Research Education and Clinical Center, VA Palo Alto Health Care System, and Professor of Medicine (Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research) and Professor of Health Research and Policy, Stanford University School of Medicine


Training Program
Postdoctoral trainees are offered an opportunity to combine formal training in Medical Informatics with research applying Medical Informatics to areas of relevance to the VA health care system such as decision support systems technologies.
Fellows will:

  • Acquire skills in state-of-the-art Medical Informatics;
  • Gain insight into major current issues in Medical Informatics that are relevant to VA clinical, educational, and research programs;
  • Develop expertise in conducting collaborative and interdisciplinary Medical Informatics research;
  • Acquire further training in such areas as medical decision-making, information technologies, communications tasks of medical practice, and information systems through seminars and formal coursework.

Research Opportunities

Medical Decision-Making, Decision Support Systems and Knowledge Acquisition.

Among ongoing projects are: (1) the use of formal analytic approaches to aid in the development of screening and treatment strategies, (2) methods for improving health care while limiting its cost, (3) the design of decision support systems for a range of medical conditions such as hypertension, heart failure, chronic pain, diabetes, PTSD, and substance use disorders, (4) the synthesis of database and artificial intelligence techniques into expert systems.

Enhanced User Interface Projects and Related Research.

Ongoing research includes improving user interface design in the use of decision support systems: (1) graphical user interface, (2) mapping natural language text to standard medical terminologies, (3) extending, improving and adapting new computer tools.

Quality of Care and Program Evaluation.

Among ongoing projects are: (1) studies of quality of life and preferences for alternative states of health to be used in guiding treatment decisions, (2) developing a prototype for manipulation and transfer of medical record data for evaluation of treatment programs and preventative medicine.

Current Funded Research: Decision Support Systems for Hypertension and Chronic Pain.

Postdoc fellows would work on two currently funded projects: Decision support for hypertension and decision support for chronic pain. These projects focus on methods by which information can be retrieved and utilized more selectively and
effectively via processes that: (1) facilitate access to and use of the most relevant patient information for a given need, (2) enhance the electronic exchange, organization and presentation of information in clinical, research and educational settings, (3) use medical ontologies and knowledge bases for storing evidenced based medicine information.


Applicants must be U.S. citizens, have completed an M.D. and residency training or have completed a Ph.D. in computer sciences, medical informatics, decision sciences, economics, or related fields. Applicants with strong quantitative and computer science backgrounds will be given priority. The VA is an equal opportunity employer. Women and minority candidates are encouraged to apply.

Application Process

Applicants will be evaluated on their professional training and development to date, professional statement, demonstrated productivity and recommendations. Final selection of fellows will be based on a personal interview.

Application Requirements

Professional statement. Applicants should submit a brief statement (not to exceed one single-spaced page) of their research activities and career goals and objectives, how they can contribute to the objectives of the training program, and how
the program can contribute to the applicant’s professional development.  

Demonstrated productivity. Applicants should provide details on education, professional activities and relevant achievements.  Applicants should include a Curriculum Vitae.

Recommendations. Three individuals who know the applicant’s work should write letters describing the applicant’s competence, an estimate of how the applicant’s performance ranks in relation to that of their peers, and the likelihood of the applicant making a contribution to the field of Medical Informatics.

Interview. After an initial screening phase, top candidates will be interviewed.

Contact Information:

Ruth Cronkite, PhD

Center for Health Care Evaluation
HSR&D Center of Excellence
VA Palo Alto Health Care System
Menlo Park Division (152)
795 Willow Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025
Fax: (650) 617-2736 / Email:


To apply, click here.

Please be prepared to upload a CV, statement of career objectives and the names of three professional references.

We are currently accepting applications for 2015 start dates.

Fellowship Coordinator

615 Crothers Way
117 Encina Commons, Room 114
Stanford, CA 94305

(650) 725-3654 (voice)
(650) 723-1919 (fax)

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