• Faces of AMIA

    Stephane Meystre, MD, PhD

    AMIA represents the biomedical informatics field in the U.S. as an organized group of experts who can explain and support our field.

Stephane Meystre, MD, PhD

Current Affiliation: Associate Professor and SmartState Chair in Biomedical  Informatics, Medical University of South Carolina; Chief Technology Officer at Health Sciences; CEO of Clinacuity, Inc.
MD, University of Lausanne, Switzerland
MS, Medical Informatics, University of California, Davis
PhD, Medical Informatics, University of Utah

Biography and photograph when elected: 

How do I describe my work to those outside the field …

It is not simple and depends on who I talk to. In general, the explanation that most people understand is that I’m a physician expert in computers in medicine. I provide a bridge between information technology and clinicians, physicians, nurses, etc, so I understand both worlds, as a physician with clinical experience and with informatics.  For my research, it is more specifically often based on natural language processing technology allowing computers to understand  clinical language, i.e., what humans write and read, and more specifically, what physicians write in the electronic health record.

Years of experience:

I first have about 10 years of experience in the medical field, and then 15 years in informatics.

Why Informatics?

Several reasons. The main one is that I realized how important it could be while practicing as a physician in a hospital setting. Another one was that even before medical school I had always been interested in computer science in general, and then chose medicine and didn’t really think about it any more. But then, while practicing medicine, this interest became evident again – the interest to support the work of clinicians, help take better care of patients, and enable or improve sharing of healthcare data.

What are your ambitions? At the end of your career, what do you hope to have accomplished?

My main interest is to make the electronic health record much more efficient. I think it’s a treasure trove of very rich and detailed information – information used for taking care of patients but also re-used afterwards for research, quality improvement, and other purposes. And this information is mostly stored in text which is only good for humans to read but nothing else. So my ambition is to continue what I am doing now but implement it in a much more efficient and generalized way to enable reuse of all this unstructured clinical information, while making sure patient privacy and confidentiality are protected.

Who or what are your “key sources” in the informatics field?

The main sources are colleagues and experts in the field – people I collaborate with in research, or who I talk with at conferences. Then scientific publications, journals in the field, from JAMIA to JBI, Information in Medicine, etc.

Articles that spotlight my research interest …

Hobbies/Interests outside AMIA ...

I have many interests, often involving traveling. I love sailing, and I do a lot of it. When I was in Utah it was difficult, but now that I am in South Carolina, it’s great really. But in Utah I could go skiing which is another thing I like doing. But in general: traveling, hiking, running. I’m also very interested in astronomy and wine – making it and learning about it.

AMIA is important to me because ...

The main reason why AMIA is important to me is because of contacts with colleagues –  to cultivate different ones and create new ones. The second reason is its representation of the biomedical informatics field in the U.S., as an organized group of experts who can explain and support our field.

I am involved with AMIA ...

Yes, in several ways. I participate in several working groups, mostly as chair of the natural language processing working group. I’ve also been a member of committees within AMIA, such as the publication committee.

It may surprise people to know ...

I make wine. I speak five languages – my first one is French, English, Italian, German, and Swiss German.

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