journal of biomedical informatics
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E-Health Resources in the Graduate and Postgraduate Medical Education in Hungary Presented in part at the EFMI Special Topic Conference (14 - 15 April 2011 , Lačko, Slovenia)

Author(s): Ferenc Bari, Erzsébet Forczek, Zoltán Hantos

Although biomedical informatics lacks a clear and theoretically-grounded definition, there is a general consensus on its involvement in the training of health professionals. Since medical education is fully packed with traditional disciplines (anatomy, physiology, surgery, etc.) and also with new, challenging subjects like molecular biology or genetics, it is very difficult to find an appropriate slice of time in the curriculum for the proper training of medical informatics. Although there are accepted recommendations by professional organizations (e.g.: International Medical Informatics Association [IMIA]) on what makes up an informatics curriculum, medical schools teach what they consider important, what can be financed and what can be fit into the tight time frame. In this paper, we describe the most important factors influencing medical informatics education in general, in Hungary and at our faculty in particular. Our department is responsible for teaching medical informatics for students in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and nursing. In addition, we provide courses for postgraduate students in various PhD programs focusing on specific aspects of info-communication involved in all phases of research. We summarize our teaching experience over the past ten years and explain how we teach biomedical informatics to different groups of health professionals. We call attention to the need for defined basic skills and knowledge in informatics at each level of the health care education. We emphasize that even with limited resources, it is possible to create and maintain valuable training programs especially with effective trans-border cooperation.