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Career Profile: Informatics Specialist - Erik Stuckart

Career Profile: Informatics Specialist - Erik Stuckart

Erik Stuckart, 30 South Carolina Central Cancer Registry, Columbia SC

In Demand: Careers in Health Care, Career Voyages, U.S. Dept. of Labor

How did you become interested in health informatics?

I was working on a biology degree, and a friend told me about the health informatics degree program at the Medical College of Georgia (MCG). I researched it, and I liked that it included business and computer courses. Plus, I would be able to use my anatomy and biology knowledge as an informatics specialist

What do you do in your job?

Our office maintains data on all cancer cases diagnosed at hospitals in the state. Large hospitals have their own registries,and they submit data electronically. Small hospitals don’t have registries, so they send basic data on diskettes. My job is to make sure everything is added to our central database, which data collectors rely on when they visit the smaller hospitals to flesh out basic data.

What are your goals for the future?

I’m working on a master’s degree in public heath with a concentration in health informatics. When I finish, I want to take on more responsibility on a statistical level. For example, I want to run data through software to create maps and reports that will show which types of cancer occur most often and if the diseases are concentrated in certain communities. The classes I’m taking now in my master’s degree program will give me the skills I need. The neat thing about a health informatics degree is that it’s flexible.

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