Catherine Smith

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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University of Wisconsin-Madison

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I am a former medical librarian who went back to school to get a master's and doctorate through the Center for Biomedical Informatics (now the Department of Biomedical Informatics) at the University of Pittsburgh. You could think of medical informatics as the academic/research side of medical IT. Robert Wachter's "The Digital Doctor" is a good overview of medical informatics as a field, although he leaves out the fact that there are non-clinicians who do it!

I have been faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Information School since 2006.  I also am an affiliate faculty member in the School of Nursing.

My research is in the “consumer health informatics” domain. I am most interested in how consumers and the people who help consumers—members of the general public, as opposed to health professionals—interact with health information and information technology. This means concentrating on nonclinical places and spaces including public libraries, archival collections, personal health records.=, patient portals and electronic medical records. Lately I have become very interested in making academic disability documentation easier for everybody who interacts with it: clinicians, counselors, faculty and students.

I am also a rare cancer survivor just over 3 years post-diagnosis and have been a member of different PFACs at my local medical center for about 8 years. Sometimes I wish I knew less about interpreting health information online.