Developing new pathways into the biomedical informatics field: the AMIA High School Scholars Program

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Abstract

Increasing access to biomedical informatics experiences is a significant need as the field continues to face workforce challenges. Looking beyond traditional medical school and graduate school pathways into the field is crucial for expanding the number of individuals and increasing diversity in the field. This case report provides an overview of the development and initial implementation of the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) High School Scholars Program. Initiated in 2014, the program’s primary goal was to provide dissemination opportunities for high school students engaged in biomedical informatics research. We discuss success factors including strong cross-institutional, cross-organizational collaboration and the high quality of high school student submissions to the program. The challenges encountered, especially around working with minors and communicating program expectations clearly, are also discussed. Finally, we present the path forward for the continued evolution of the AMIA High School Scholars Program.

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