How informatics led Dr. Don Rucker to head ONC

National Coordinator for Health IT Don Rucker, MD — a board-certified physician in emergency medicine, internal medicine and clinical informatics — discussed his journey to ONC leadership in a June 15 post on the ONC blog.

"Informatics, the science and processing of data for storage and retrieval, is still an odd enough career choice," Dr. Rucker wrote. "As such, I have been getting a lot of questions about how I got interested in this field and found my way to ONC."

Dr. Rucker detailed how, as a medical student at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, he noticed striking inefficiencies in the healthcare system. As a resident at UC San Diego, he discovered an answer to the problem.

"I realized that what was really missing in making healthcare more efficient was data," he wrote. "Personal computers were becoming more commonplace at that time and I started thinking about building software to capture data to improve healthcare."

Throughout his career — which included studying medical computer science at Stanford (Calif.) University, co-developing the first Windows-based EMR at Datamedic Corp., and working with several federal agencies as CMO of Siemens Healthcare USA — Dr. Rucker has also continuously practiced as an emergency medicine physician.

"I'm optimistic that my path straddling high performance clinical medicine, as well as cutting edge software development, will power additional insights to help ONC best serve the health needs of our country," he wrote.

Click here to view the blog post.

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