FAMIA FAQs

What is FAMIA?

FAMIA stands for “Fellow of the American Medical Informatics Association” and it recognizes the contributions and professional accomplishments of AMIA members who apply informatics skills and knowledge to their practice – be that in a clinical setting, a public or population health capacity, or as a clinical researcher. FAMIA is not an honorific designation where you must be voted in. See the Eligibility Criteria.

What is the difference between FAMIA and FACMI? Can I be eligible for both?

FACMI is a Fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics. These fellows are elected into the College by existing ACMI fellows and must have sustained extensive contributions of biomedical informatics with at least 10 years of experience. The primary difference between FACMI and FAMIA is largely due to three factors:

  1. FACMI is an honorific society that grants membership to a subset of applicants based on voting; FAMIA is a merit-based designation, granted to everyone who applies and meets eligibility criteria (no cap on membership per year, no voting on membership).
  2. FACMI recognizes academic contributions to the field of informatics from members who have or are close to a tenure track within an academic setting; FAMIA recognizes applied contributions to the field of informatics from members who work within an operational setting.
  3. FACMI recipients advance their careers through publication, impact factor, grants, and by expanding or deepening the knowledge base within the field of informatics; FAMIA recipients advance their careers through certification, continuing education and other forms of professional development credit, and by demonstrating informatics competencies by applying informatics knowledge to practice.

Current or aspiring FACMI members are encouraged to apply for FAMIA if they meet the Eligibility Criteria. And nothing would preclude a FAMIA recipient from applying for FACMI.

What is the difference between the Certification Pathway and the Long-Term Experience Pathway?

The Certification Pathway requires an approved informatics certification and The Long-Term Experience Pathway requires 10 years of work experience with more than 25 percent full time employee effort in applied informatics over that time, or equivalent. The Long-Term Experience Pathway is the pathway for those who are ineligible to be certified in ABPM/ABPath Clinical Informatics or through ANCC Nursing Informatics and who have worked in applied informatics for more than 25 percent of their time for at last 10 years. It also requires demonstration of Informatics Competency Qualifications (ICQs).

What are Informatics Competency Qualifications, or ICQs?

The concept of ICQs is part of the Long-Term Experience Pathway to FAMIA for AMIA members who are ineligible to be certified in Clinical Informatics or through ANCC. ICQs tell the story of accomplishment for applicants, and help articulate what the applicant does across four required domains. Applicants may use multiple projects to illustrate how experience was gained across the four domains. Long-Term Experience Pathway applicants must complete and submit this ICQ questionnaire as part of their FAMIA application. ICQs are borrowed concepts from the AHIC eligibility criteria, approved by the AMIA Board in July 2016 and duly reaffirmed in May 2017 for use in FAMIA. ICQs span four domains and all four domains must be satisfied through an applicant’s narrative description. These narratives should be no more than 500 words:

  • Impact on Individuals/Populations: How have you impacted patients or individuals through informatics initiatives designed to enhance health care, population health, or personal health?
  • Impact on Organizations: How have you impacted organizations through informatics initiatives designed to enhance performance and learning?
  • Informatics Tools & Methods: How have you leveraged informatics tools or technology that promotes better health, healthcare or informatics practices?
  • Team & Change Management: How have you impacted team effectiveness by leading and managing health informatics change?
What are the education requirements for FAMIA?

You must meet one of three educational requirements to be eligible for FAMIA. (1) have a masters or PhD in informatics; (2) have a medical degree or master’s degree in a health field; or (3) bachelor’s degree with more than 10 years of work experience. Note: the educational attainment, experience, and certification are interlinked requirements for FAMIA.

How do you define applied informatics?

Applied informatics within the context of FAMIA is an operational focus on information and knowledge problems that directly impacts the practice of health care, public health, and personal health. Examples of the types of activities that qualify an individual as working in applied informatics for the purposes of FAMIA include the following:

  • Assess and develop effective solutions to meet the information and knowledge needs of health care and public health professionals, patients, and citizens in general.
  • Implement and evaluate effective systems to support health and health care decision-making and manage personal health.
  • Characterize, develop, evaluate, and refine health and health care processes that support effective, efficient, safe, timely, equitable, and patient-centered care.
  • Develop effective practice improvements, process and workflow redesign, or automation.
  • Utilize informatics approaches to improve system design, implementation, evaluation, and evolution/optimization.
  • Ensure the legal, ethical, and effective use of health and health care data and information.
  • Lead procurement, customization, development, integration, implementation, management, evaluation, and continuous improvement of health and health care informatics systems.
  • Align system priorities with clinical/health care and health needs.
  • Utilize the rapidly expanding amounts of data becoming available in various health and health care organizations (eg, payers, providers, pharmaceuticals) to derive insights for improving care delivery and population health.
Can I have any colleague or former employer respond to my request for a Letter of Recommendation?

Yes, as long as your colleague or former employer is a current AMIA member and understands the skills required to be an applied informatician. Those are the current requirements.

What are “AMIA Contributions”?

An AMIA Contribution must be within the last 10 years (most recent contributions are preferred) and could be any of the following:

  • A paper where you were the primary or senior author published through an AMIA-endorsed topic that exemplifies your work as an applied informatics professional;
  • A poster, panel, tutorial, workshop where you were the primary or senior author at an AMIA conference;
  • A description of your accomplishments as lead of an AMIA Working Group;
  • A description of your contributions to an AMIA committee, task force, or equivalent;
  • Other contributions the application views as meeting the spirit of this Criterion.
What does “Leadership in a Working Group” mean under the contributions to AMIA Criterion?

Leadership means you have held a leadership office inside an active AMIA Working Group. This may be chair, president, or co-chair. If you feel you have contributed, but cannot meet any of the described options, please consider checking the “other” box and provide a narrative explaining your contributions to AMIA in the last five years.

I’ve started my application, but can’t find an email with information on how to resume my application. What do I do?

We are working to have the notice email include a link back to the application so that you may quickly resume when you are ready. Until this fix can be made, please revisit either the Certification Pathway or the Long-Term Experience Pathway.


Other questions? Visit our Am I Eligible? page or view this July 24, 2018 introduction and overview webinar of FAMIA. Please contact Susanne Arnold, Education Program Manager, at susanne@amia.org.