One For the Books…

One For the Books…

Posted on 02. Dec, 2011 by in Conferences, Diary of an Online Student, Education, Featured, Online Programs

Wow does time fly.

As of this writing, I am about half way through my third to last class with UIC’s online Master of Science in Health Informatics (MSHI) program!  I still remember when I started back in January 2010, thinking that I’ll be in school forever; it sure doesn’t feel like that anymore!

It has been a crazy and action-packed year for the health industry.  There have been so many mergers and acquisitions (M&As) that I can hardly keep count anymore.  Every day brings new headlines: the health reform law being challenged, numerous jobs added in the field, and headline after headline citing how important technology plays and will continue to play a role in the future of health care delivery.  One could certainly make a living just trying to stay on top of the latest news in this whirlwind of a field.  The possibilities are truly endless.

Last Tuesday I had a chance to attend the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) Health IT Leadership Summit at the Fox Theater here in Atlanta, GA.  It was a great opportunity for me to catch up with some colleagues in the field, some of whom I’ve met before, some who I met for the first time.  It never ceases to amaze me how much variety and depth there is in the health care information technology (HIT) industry.  I also noted that several local schools and universities are adopting formal training programs relating to technology and health informatics.  It always makes me smile when talking to other HIT students that have heard about UIC’s MSHI program.

Last month I finished my Business Networking & Communications course, which was challenging, but surviving the course made me appreciate the complexities of information technology networking.  I am certainly a techie, but admittedly, networking was always a weak area for me.  Let’s just say that there’s much more to it than what meets the eye!  The current course that I am enrolled in highlights the organizational issues of health informatics, which I think is a fantastic subject area since there are so many stories which we can all learn from.  I’ll be finishing up this course by the second week in December, which believe it or not, is right around the corner.  Again, time flies!

Work has also been going very well for me.  The concepts and lessons that I’ve been learning in my courses have truly come full-circle on the job.  In my line of work (actuarial consulting), I have noticed a push for informatics to play an even larger role in daily operations.  I think I mentioned it in my last post, but I am pleasantly surprised to hear this.  The reach of health informatics is very strong!

On a personal note, I am looking forward to some much needed time off between semesters this winter.  After that, I’ll only have two courses left, which I’m still trying to come to terms with!  This winter I’ll be catching up on movies and shows, as well as books on my Kindle.  I’ve also taken up photography ever since my wife got me a new camera as a wedding gift.  Below is one of the pictures that I took from our honeymoon in Aruba.

Ryan Esslinger

Ryan Esslinger is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s (UIC) Online Health Informatics Program. Ryan currently works full time as an Informatics Analyst at Wellstar Health System.

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