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Rajib Ranganathan

Medical Informatics vs Bioinformatics

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I completed educational requirements for doctor of medicine from India and I am not looking to further my education in the US.. I am looking to expand my knowledge into a phd in the US in either bioInformatics or biomedical informatics/health informatics.. I am looking on advice for which one is best suited for myself. Kind regards~

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First off, thanks for becoming a YDSOA member. I hope to see you around the site! 

Bioinformatics and Medical Informatics have a lot of similarities, utilize a lot of the same principles, etc. However, Medical Informatics (or Health/Biomedical Informatics) differs from Bioinformatics in that it is heavily tied into the work of clinicians. Bioinformatics can have a clinical component to it (i.e., Translational Bioinformatics), but it has a much broader reach. There are scientists involved in plant studies, the microbiome, and other species besides humans, that rely on Bioinformatics. 

So if you know for a fact that you only want to work with clinical data, Health/Medical Informatics is more than likely the best route. If you are open to a wider range of applications, Bioinformatics would be useful to look into.

The ideal route would be to find a list of schools that you are interested in applying to and look to see whether they have a Bioinformatics program, a Health Informatics program, or both. Then focus on the researchers that you might be working under, through each of the programs. I would then apply to the schools, and the related program, based upon this overlap. 

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