Review of Methods in Medical Informatics by Dr. Jules Berman

| March 23, 2011

I recently had a chance to look at Methods in Medical Informatics, the latest of several books by Jules Berman, PhD, MD, published last year. 

image from Three computer languages satisfy the minimum requirements for biomedical programming: Perl, Python, and Ruby. These languages are: free; fast; and easy to learn. Each provides a large user community; easy environment for correcting errors; large, available library of specialized modules; built-in pattern recognition commands; and yet are capable of large-scale data-analysis for advanced programmers.

One of Dr. Berman's colleagues wrote this, "This list, enumerated by Dr. Berman and many others, should be chiseled in granite, published everywhere, and yelled from the rooftops. Greater compliance with this list would clear out much of the clutter in the chaotic world of biomedical informatics."

This book is a no-nonsense "how to" for programming in medical informatics written in a similar style to Dr. Berman's previous works on the topic with the exception that these languages are freely available and take advantage of public databases.  The book is short on history, background and significant explanation, rather Dr. Berman quickly and easily takes the reader into short scripts of code with accompanying algorithms to rapidly illustrate simplicity yet thoroughness to the program being written.  For more substantive background and discussion I suggest you look at his prior works.

The book contains 27 chapters that are parceled into 4 parts — fundamental algorithms and methods of medical informatics; medical data resources; primary tasks of medical informatics and medical discovery. The parts and chapters allow a flow to the book that makes it both easy to pick up where you left off and hard to put down when you need to.  Despite the subject matter and largely a collection of short scripts, like any good book, there is a story and one can find themself asking "What if?" when a scenario is presented and others are built upon it to ask or answer a particular question.

A must have for any healthcare professional with informatics needs or interests.  Retails for around $50.


Jules J. Berman, studied mathematics at M.I.T., earned a Ph.D. in pathology and an M.D., practiced general pathology for over a decade, and served as Program Director for the Pathology Informatics program at the U. S. National Cancer Institute. He has published over one hundred first-author papers in peer-reviewed journals in this field. He brings together this varied background in a flowing no-nonsense writing style.

Category: Pathology News

Comments (3)

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  1. Karl Robstad says:

    I’m sold! Thanks for sharing this!! Hope it helps as I have ZERO programming experience outside of some basic html…
    PS great job @ USCAP. That was a great evening session!

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