Photo of William R Hersh, M.D.

William R Hersh M.D.

  • (503) 494-4563
    • Professor of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology School of Medicine

William Hersh, MD is Professor and Chair of the Department of Medical Informatics & Clinical Epidemiology in the School of Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in Portland, Oregon, USA. Dr. Hersh received his BS in Biology from the University of Illinois in 1980 and his MD from the University of Illinois in 1984. After completing a Residency in Internal Medicine at University of Illinois Hospital in 1987, he completed a Fellowship in Medical Informatics at Harvard University in 1990. Since that time, he has been a faculty member in the OHSU School of Medicine.

Dr. Hersh is a leader and innovator in biomedical informatics both in education and research. In education, he developed and serves as Director of all of OHSU’s graduate biomedical informatics education programs, including the Master of Science, the Master of Biomedical Informatics, the Graduate Certificate, and the Doctor of Philosophy. Dr. Hersh also spearheaded OHSU’s efforts in distance learning for biomedical informatics, which are available up to the master’s degree level.

Dr. Hersh has also made many contributions in research. His research originally focused in the area of information retrieval (also known as search), where he has authored over 125 scientific papers as well as the book, Information Retrieval: A Health and Biomedical Perspective (Springer, 2009), now in its third edition. His most recent work has focused on the quantity and characteristics of the workforce needed to implement health information technology, especially in clinical settings. Dr. Hersh is also active in clinical and translational research informatics. He serves as Director of the Biomedical Informatics Program of the Oregon Clinical & Translational Research Institute (OCTRI, and was Chair of the National Informatics Steering Committee of the Clinical & Translational Science Award (CTSA) program of the National Institutes of Health from 2006-2008.

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  • B.S., University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana Illinois United States 1979
  • M.D., University of Illinois, Chicago Illinois United States 1984
  • Residency:

    • Internal Medicine, University of Illinois Hospital, Chicago, IL
  • Fellowship:

    • Medical Informatics, Harvard University, Boston, MA
  • Certifications:

    • Internal Medicine, Diplomate of ABIM, 1987
    • Clinical Informatics, Diplomate of ABPM, 2013

Honors and awards

  • Donald AB Lindberg Award for Innovation in Informatics, American Medical Informatics Association, 2008
  • Physician IT Leadership Award, HIMSS, 2015

Memberships and associations

  • American Medical Informatics Association


  • "Intrainstitutional EHR collections for patient-level information retrieval." Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology  In: , Vol. 68, No. 11, 01.11.2017, p. 2636-2648.
  • "On Mapping Textual Queries to a Common Data Model."   Proceedings - 2017 IEEE International Conference on Healthcare Informatics, ICHI 2017. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc., 2017. p. 21-25 8031127.
  • "Barriers to Medical Students’ Electronic Health Record Access Can Impede Their Preparedness for Practice." Academic Medicine  In: , 25.07.2017.
  • "From Competencies to Competence : Model, Approach, and Lessons Learned From Implementing a Clinical Informatics Curriculum for Medical Students."   Health Professionals' Education in the Age of Clinical Information Systems, Mobile Computing and Social Networks. Elsevier Inc., 2017. p. 269-287.
  • "A publicly available benchmark for biomedical dataset retrieval : the reference standard for the 2016 bioCADDIE dataset retrieval challenge." Database : the journal of biological databases and curation  In: , Vol. 2017, 01.01.2017.
  • "Query expansion using MeSH terms for dataset retrieval : OHSU at the bioCADDIE 2016 dataset retrieval challenge." Database : the journal of biological databases and curation  In: , Vol. 2017, 01.01.2017.
  • "Evaluation of Clinical Text Segmentation to Facilitate Cohort Retrieval." AMIA ... Annual Symposium proceedings. AMIA Symposium  In: , Vol. 2017, 01.01.2017, p. 660-669.
  • "State-of-the-art in biomedical literature retrieval for clinical cases : a survey of the TREC 2014 CDS track." Information Retrieval  In: , Vol. 19, No. 1-2, 01.04.2016, p. 113-148.
  • "Barriers and facilitators to exchanging health information : A systematic review." International Journal of Medical Informatics  In: , Vol. 88, 01.04.2016, p. 44-51.
  • "The Evidence Base for Health Information Exchange."   Health Information Exchange: Navigating and Managing a Network of Health Information Systems. Elsevier Inc., 2016. p. 213-229.
  • "On developing resources for patient-level information retrieval."   Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation, LREC 2016. European Language Resources Association (ELRA), 2016. p. 3412-3416.
  • "Early experiences of accredited clinical informatics fellowships." Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association  In: , Vol. 23, No. 4, 2016, p. 829-834.
  • "Collaboration leads to enhanced curriculum." Applied Clinical Informatics  In: , Vol. 6, No. 1, 25.03.2015, p. 200-209.
  • "Information retrieval for healthcare."   Healthcare Data Analytics. CRC Press, 2015. p. 467-505.
  • "Clinical informatics fellowship programs : In search of a viable financial model: An open letter to the centers for medicare and medicaid services." Applied Clinical Informatics  In: , Vol. 6, No. 2, 2015, p. 267-270.
  • "Participation in EHR based simulation improves recognition of patient safety issues." BMC Medical Education  In: , 21.10.2014, p. 1-8.
  • "Big Data : Are Biomedical and Health Informatics Training Programs Ready? Contribution of the IMIA Working Group for Health and Medical Informatics Education." Yearbook of medical informatics  In: , Vol. 9, 15.08.2014, p. 177-181.
  • "Commentaries on the IMIA Award of Excellence Lecture by Reinhold Haux." Yearbook of medical informatics  In: , Vol. 9, 22.05.2014, p. 265-272.
  • "Information retrieval and digital libraries."   Biomedical Informatics: Computer Applications in Health Care and Biomedicine: Fourth Edition. Springer London, 2014. p. 613-641.
  • "Design and evaluation of the ONC health information technology curriculum." Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association  In: , Vol. 21, No. 3, 2014, p. 509-516.
  • "A National Strategy to Develop Pragmatic Clinical Trials Infrastructure." Clinical and Translational Science  In: , Vol. 7, No. 2, 2014, p. 164-171.
  • "Features of effective medical knowledge resources to support point of care learning : A focus group study." PLoS One  In: , Vol. 8, No. 11, e80318, 25.11.2013.
  • "A tale of two professions health information management and biomedical/health informatics converge at OHSU." Journal of the American Health Information Management Association  In: , Vol. 84, No. 10, 10.2013, p. 37-41.
  • "A tale of two professions." Journal of AHIMA / American Health Information Management Association  In: , Vol. 84, No. 10, 10.2013, p. 38-41.
  • "Educator extraordinaire. Interview by Elizabeth Gardner." Health data management  In: , Vol. 21, No. 8, 01.08.2013.
  • "Caveats for the use of operational electronic health record data in comparative effectiveness research." Medical Care  In: , Vol. 51, No. 8 SUPPL.3, 08.2013.
  • "Development and evaluation of an electronic health record configuration and customization laboratory course for clinical informatics students."   Studies in Health Technology and Informatics. Vol. 192 1-2. ed. 2013. p. 1122.
  • "Workshop on health search and discovery : Helping users and advancing medicine."   SIGIR 2013 - Proceedings of the 36th International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval. 2013. p. 1138.
  • "10×10 comes full circle : Spanish version back to United States in Puerto Rico."   Studies in Health Technology and Informatics. Vol. 192 1-2. ed. 2013. p. 1134.
  • "Use of simulation to assess electronic health record safety in the intensive care unit : A pilot study." BMJ Open  In: , Vol. 3, No. 4, e002549, 2013.

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