Houston we have a problem! We have so much clinical data and so few providers who can use it.
As Director of Baylor College of Medicine’s M.D./M.S. Program, I am excited you are interested in exploring additional training in one of the fastest growing fields of medicine - biomedical informatics. I think you will find there are a wealth of possibilities at the world’s largest medical center here in Houston.
Not a day goes by that I am not engaged with, or using biomedical informatics to improve the care I deliver to children both in and out of the hospital. My personal interests, as a pediatric infectious disease physician, are the long-term outcome and healthcare utilization associated with congenital infections. By capitalizing on the wealth of data within the shared electronic medical record across our institution and community sites, I can follow these children as they interact with our health care system. One advantage of this approach is how we noticed that patients with congenital infections were often being diagnosed and managed for developmental disabilities long after they had been discharged from our clinic. This hidden burden had a clear signature in the EMR and we were able to use these results to advocate for continued surveillance of these children. Additionally, we were able to quantify the financial burden congenital infections place on families who children require significant out of hospital therapeutic interventions. By better understanding our patients, we are well equipped to advocate for them in areas that perhaps may have gone unnoticed before. The possibilities of the informatic approach are endless, and what is greatly needed are curious minds with an interest in making meaningful use of all the data that is part of our daily routine and already at our fingertips.
In choosing to earn a dual-degree in medicine and biomedical informatics, you will be uniquely equipped to navigate the ever-changing field of medicine as it evolves to adapt to the rapid influx of data into the electronic medical record systems that have become the sine qua non of modern medicine.
Our five-year program takes advantage of the excellent medical education at BCM and combines this with the content expertise in biomedical informatics at and McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics at UTHealth Houston. Equipped with foundational sciences knowledge and 1.5 years of clinical experience after three years in medical school, students immerse in the full-time MS program at McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics. Students learn about data interpretation and knowledge management as they discover how to collect, process, and transform health and biomedical data into health information and knowledge. By the time they graduate, program participants will understand core clinical informatics disciplines such as technology assessment, quality and outcome improvement, data analytics and precision medicine. Upon completing their graduate work at MSBMI, students return to BCM as fourth-year medical students.
The M.D./M.S. leadership is committed to helping you reach your full potential as future healthcare leaders. Please visit McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics at UTHealth Houston, for more information and contact us to learn more!
Ryan Rochat, M.D., Ph.D., M.S.
Students who pursue the M.D./M.S. dual degree program will spend 60 months (five years) in pursuit of both degrees. Prospective students must apply separately and be admitted to both the Baylor College of Medicine M.D. program and the McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics at UTHealth Houston M.S. program. Students who are interested in this program should only apply to the McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics at UTHealth Houston M.S. program in March of their 3rd year, but can indicated interest in the program in their medical school application.
Students eligible for this program matriculate into the BCM curriculum in the fall with all other M.D. candidates. The student remains full-time at Baylor for three full academic years of course work and clinical rotations. At the end of their 3rd year at BCM, students take a leave of absence and matriculate into the MSBMI program to complete 12 full months of coursework for the M.S. degree. In their 5th year, students return to BCM to complete the remainder of their core clinical rotations and other degree requirements. During the Fall of their 5th year, students will finish their practicum experience in parallel with their clinical rotations. This concurrence is planned as students will have the opportunity to apply the skills they learned during their training in biomedical informatics as an applied-practice experience.
The MS program requires a minimum of 39 semester credit hours for graduation, including the completion of an applied-practice experience (i.e. Practicum) to become active participants in the work of developing informatics-based applications and/or applying informatics science and skills to address an informatics need. A minimum of 27 semester credits hours from UT-SBMI courses is required, and up to 12 semester credit hours earned as part of the BCM M.D. program will be applied to a student’s M.S.
Students work closely with the Baylor Office of the Registrar and Office of Student Affairs in conjunction with McWilliams SBMI Office of Academic Affairs to ensure proper transition between schools.
|Year 1||Baylor College of Medicine|
|Year 2||Baylor College of Medicine|
|Year 3||Baylor College of Medicine*|
|Year 4||McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics at UTHealth Houston|
|Summer/Fall of Year 5**||Baylor College of Medicine and McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics at UTHealth Houston (Practicum)|
|Year 5||Baylor College of Medicine|
*M.S. applications are submitted during March of the third year to start in the summer.
** Students are co-registered in the Fall of fifth year during which time they are completing their practicum, which is the applied portion of their degree.
Prospective students must apply separately and be admitted to both the Baylor College of Medicine M.D. program and the McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics at UTHealth Houston M.S. program. Applicants are encouraged to indicate interest in the dual-degree program when applying to the School of Medicine and are required to apply to the McWilliams SBMI program during March of their third year of medical school. When matriculating into the McWilliams SBMI, students take a leave of absence from BCM to engage in full-time study for a period of 12 months, including at least one summer session. Students return to BCM to complete their fourth year of medical school while concurrently finishing their practicum course work which is applied informatics to their area of medical interest.
Students must be in good academic standing and on track to meet the requirements for the Doctor of Medicine degree prior to entering the dual-degree program. Additionally, students must meet with the Dean of Student Affairs to request leave as noted above. Students are encouraged to reach out to the program director directly if question arise in this regard.
For information regarding the admissions process at each school, please contact the School of Medicine Office of Admissions and the McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics directly.
Dual Degree Requirements
- Credit Requirements: Medical School credit requirements based on matriculation year; McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics. During graduate school, students in the M.D./M.S. program must complete all core biomedical informatics classes in their first year (Year 4 of Dual-Degree Path) and finish their practicum experience in their second year coincident with their return to medical school.
- Minimum Time Requirements: 5 years
- Academic requirements:
- Students in the M.D./M.S. program must satisfy all academic requirements for the M.D. degree.
- Students in the M.D./M.S. program follow the same course of study as single-degree full-time M.S. students and must satisfy all of the MSBMI requirements for graduation. Learn more about the MSBMI academic requirements.
Students who are applying to the Baylor College of Medicine M.D. program and are interested in this program are encouraged to indicate their interest in the Biomedical Informatics M.D./M.S. program on the Baylor College of Medicine application. For current Baylor College of Medicine medical students, feel free to reach out to me directly at email@example.com to discuss applying for the dual degree program which is separate from the application to medical school.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Students in the M.D./M.S. dual degree program will be charged tuition according to the rates effective at the school in which they are enrolled each term. For more information regarding tuition and financial aid, prospective students should contact the Baylor Office of Student Financial Aid and Office of Student Account Services and the University of Texas School of Biomedical Informatics - Student Handbook.