Informatics in Undergraduate Medical Education: Analysis of Competency Frameworks and Practices across North America

David Chartash*, Marc Rosenman, Karen Wang, Elizabeth Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: With the advent of competency-based medical education, as well as Canadian efforts to include clinical informatics within undergraduate medical education, competency frameworks in the United States have not emphasized the skills associated with clinical informatics pertinent to the broader practice of medicine. Objective: By examining the competency frameworks with which undergraduate medical education in clinical informatics has been developed in Canada and the United States, we hypothesized that there is a gap: the lack of a unified competency set and frame for clinical informatics education across North America. Methods: We performed directional competency mapping between Canadian and American graduate clinical informatics competencies and general graduate medical education competencies. Directional competency mapping was performed between Canadian roles and American common program requirements using keyword matching at the subcompetency and enabling competency levels. In addition, for general graduate medical education competencies, the Physician Competency Reference Set developed for the Liaison Committee on Medical Education was used as a direct means of computing the ontological overlap between competency frameworks. Results: Upon mapping Canadian roles to American competencies via both undergraduate and graduate medical education competency frameworks, the difference in focus between the 2 countries can be thematically described as a difference between the concepts of clinical and management reasoning. Conclusions: We suggest that the development or deployment of informatics competencies in undergraduate medical education should focus on 3 items: the teaching of diagnostic reasoning, such that the information tasks that comprise both clinical and management reasoning can be discussed; precision medical education, where informatics can provide for more fine-grained evaluation; and assessment methods to support traditional pedagogical efforts (both at the bedside and beyond). Assessment using cases or structured assessments (eg, Objective Structured Clinical Examinations) would help students draw parallels between clinical informatics and fundamental clinical subjects and would better emphasize the cognitive techniques taught through informatics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere39794
JournalJMIR Medical Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • Canada
  • North America
  • US
  • United States
  • clinical
  • cognitive
  • curriculum
  • education
  • framework
  • informatics
  • management
  • medical education
  • medical informatics
  • teaching
  • undergraduate medical education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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