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The American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI) will present the 2021 Morris F. Collen Award of Excellence to Randolph A. Miller, MD, FACMI, Emeritus Professor of Biomedical Informatics, Vanderbilt University, during the opening session of the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) 2021 Annual Symposium. AMIA’s Annual Symposium is October 30 – November 3 in San Diego.

In honor of Morris F. Collen, a thought leader in the field of medical informatics, this prestigious award is presented to an individual whose personal commitment and dedication to medical informatics has made a lasting impression on the field. The award is determined by ACMI’s Awards Committee.

“The Morris F. Collen Award is awarded for a lifetime of achievements to the most distinguished informaticians. ACMI is pleased to recognize Dr. Miller for his substantial accomplishments to the field of biomedical informatics,” said ACMI President Genevieve Melton-Meaux, MD, PhD, FACMI, Professor of Surgery and Health Informatics and Director of the Center for Learning Health System Sciences, University of Minnesota; Chief Analytics and Care Innovation Officer, Fairview Health Services. “Dr. Miller is known for a particular quote, ‘Clinical informatics is not a spectator sport.’ He taught us that to best serve clinicians and patients, we need for information and data scientists to sit side by side with all members of the healthcare team to change the way we practice medicine. Randy’s legacy importantly includes the guidance and mentorship he has provided to many of the leaders we see in biomedical informatics today.”

Dr. Miller received his Bachelor of Arts in physics from Princeton University and his medical doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh. He is an academic general internist, and directly provided care to patients for a quarter century. After serving as the founding Chief of the University of Pittsburgh’s Section of Medical Informatics, he became the founding Chair of Vanderbilt University’s Department of Biomedical Informatics. He conducted research implementing and evaluating clinical informatics and diagnostic expert systems, and explored ethical issues related to clinical informatics. He is recognized globally for large-scale knowledgebase development, clinical decision support, guiding clinical institutional change, and shaping health information technology policy. Over the course of four decades, he has mentored students, clinicians, and medical informatics professionals.

During medical school, Dr. Miller joined the University of Pittsburgh’s INTERNIST-1 team led by Jack Myers, MD, and Harry E. Pople, Jr., PhD.  In 1982, Dr. Miller published “INTERNIST-1, an Experimental Computer-Based Diagnostic Consultant for General Internal Medicine” in the New England Journal of Medicine; it has garnered more than 1,400 citations. The article demonstrated that diagnostic systems had the potential to perform at an expert level but were not quite ready for prime time.

Despite the success, Miller realized that a clinician-computer partnership would better serve clinical care. Computer-based consultant systems should account for and leverage the clinician’s judgment and greater knowledge of the patient. Dr. Miller translated this realization into new knowledge representation schemes and innovative algorithms. With colleagues, he created a microcomputer-based diagnostic toolkit that could provide advice quickly and efficiently under the clinician’s guidance (Quick Medical Reference, 1984).  With Drs. Antoine Geissbuhler and William Stead, he helped to build and evaluate Vanderbilt’s clinician order entry system with integrated decision support. It sustained clinical operations at Vanderbilt Hospital for two decades.

Most recently, Miller and colleagues have developed an iOS application that helps medical and nursing students, graduate trainees, and practicing clinicians to hone their diagnostic skills – the VanderbiltDDx Clinical Case Simulator.  It is a free application in the Apple App Store. Dr. Miller’s research has had substantial impact. He has served as principal investigator on more than $30 million of extramurally sponsored grants and contracts and has authored more than 150 peer-reviewed papers.

He was elected to fellowship in ACMI and to membership in the Institute of Medicine. He previously served as AMIA President and Board Chair; President of ACMI; and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. He was previously honored by AMIA with the Donald A.B. Lindberg Award for Innovation in Informatics in 2007 and received the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine’s Philip S. Hench Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2008.

AMIA’s Annual Symposium is the premier educational event in the field. The Symposium presents leading-edge scientific research on biomedical and health informatics, and more than 150 scientific sessions. The work presented spans the spectrum of the informatics field: translational bioinformatics, clinical research informatics, clinical informatics, consumer health informatics and public health informatics.