At Pratt-SILS, the health information concentration within the M.S.L.I.S. degree prepares students for careers in the health information field across a range of environments from academic, public, and hospital libraries to the pharmaceutical industry and alternative health providers.
Dedicated to improving the health of our communities, health sciences librarians carry out this important role through the provision of health information services and resources. Most recently, new digital tools and technology have lead to the emergence of health and medical informatics. With an increasing awareness of public health issues, the need to make accessible and usable high quality health information is a top priority for public libraries as well as federal, state, and local governments, which means that health information professionals are increasingly in high demand.
Health information librarians are involved in a diverse and exciting range of work:
- Health information librarians contribute to educating health care providers, supporting basic and clinical research and furthering medical education. This work is done in a variety of settings serving many different constituencies.
- An academic health science librarian works in a medical school featuring western, oriental, or osteopathic medicine. Also an academic health sciences librarian works in a graduate medical school, nursing school, dental school, dental hygienist training, pharmacy school, physician assistant training, or a center with many of these schools together. The schools may feature western or oriental medicine. In addition, an academic health science librarian works in a college or university that supports the sciences.
- A health sciences librarian works in a hospital. The hospital may be a large teaching hospital, specialty hospital, or community hospital. The hospital librarian may oversee libraries within a healthcare system. A health sciences librarian ventures into the private sector by working in a pharmaceutical company library or being on the staff of a health sciences information vendor selling, training, or designing information tools. He/she may find a niche for starting an information consulting business.
Organizations and associations in the health care field need librarians to support their mission:
- A health sciences librarian serves consumers of health information when they are sick or when they are well. Hospitals and clinics have resource centers, as do public libraries.
- Local, state, and federal governments handle health science documents and require a health sciences librarian.
- After some experience, a health sciences librarian may turn to the rewarding field of training and teaching those wishing to join the profession within a formal library school program or as an independent instructor.
As information continues to explode and come in many different formats, the health sciences librarian is vital to finding quality documents and filtering and organizing this information for education, research, and patient care.
Consumers, researchers and health care providers are often overwhelmed by the amount of medical information available today. Librarians are needed to partner with them to find the best evidence by framing precise searchable questions, accessing reliable information resources and appraising the results. Ultimately the medical librarian supports patient care, medical education, and scientific research.
Program Of Study
12 Credits (Four 3 credit courses)
LIS 624 Health Information Resources
LIS 697 Contemporary Issues in Health InformationLIS Practicum
Contact SILS Heath Information Faculty:
Helen-Ann Brown Epstein MLS, MS, AHIP
Sarah Jewel: Jewells@mskcc.org
Academic Heath Sciences librarians work in:
*medical schools featuring western, oriental, or osteopathic medicine
*graduate medical schools, nursing schools, dental schools, dental hygienist training, pharmacy schools, physician assistant training*centers with many of these schools together.
Hospital Librarians work in:
*Large teaching hospitals
*Health Care Systems
Government information professionals work at the
Schools of information and library science
Private Sector information professionals work for:
and work as information consultants
With a career in health information - you will be part of the exciting information future of health science and medical librarians