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The Information Systems department provides nearly all of the software systems that are used at the Marshfield Clinic. Some examples of what we have developed are an electronic medical record system, an email system, patient care systems and web based systems. I have been at the Marshfield Clinic for about a year and a half. Prior to working full time here, I worked for 8 months as an intern in the Information Technology department at Schneider National in Green Bay , WI . I also had a 3-month internship here at Marshfield the summer before my senior year at UW-Stout.
My job at the Marshfield Clinic is in the Systems group. A lot of the work I do is "behind the scenes". I do a lot of work with XML services that are used to transfer data between our SQL database and our client applications that need it. Other things that I work on are C++ classes and utilities for other developers in the department. The main goal of the Systems group is to keep the Clinic running. Because of this, some of my time is spent making sure our XML Server is always running smooth and consulting other developers on how to use some of our technology.
The current project that is the most interesting and getting the most exposure is our patient web portal, My Marshfield Clinic. This allows patients web access to most of their medical information. All of the data that is available must be retrieved through our XML services, so that is a large portion of the work for the project.
There isn't a whole lot of math used in my day-to-day work. The biggest benefit I have gotten from math is the problem solving and analysis skills that you gain from advanced mathematics.
I graduated from UW-Stout in May of 2003 with a Bachelors degree in Applied Math and Computer Science. The nature of my job does not require a large amount of mathematics. There are some jobs here at Marshfield Clinic that do require more. These jobs typically have to do more with data analysis where statistics will come into play more. Courses that would be good to take for jobs like these would be the Probability and Mathematical Statistics series at UW-Stout.
Problem solving and communication are probably two of the most important skills needed for the type of work that I do. When I do analysis and design for a system, I am solving a problem. When I complete the design, I need to be able to effectively communicate it to other team members who will be working on the project. Without those two skills, this becomes a very difficult task.
For those considering mathematics, first determine in what capacity you want to use math: teaching, statistics, analysis, problem solving, etc. Doing that will help you plan your college courses accordingly and ultimately help you find a job that best suits what you want to do. The best piece of advice I can give is to go out and get experience in your field through internships before you graduate from college. The best place to learn is to actually do work for a company where you are surrounded by other professionals. Doing this will also make it a lot easier to find a job when you graduate.