Medical education and a broad range of interests in biomedical informatics, especially decision-support systems, integrated workstations for clinicians, and web -based information dissemination. Education and training in the informatics field are special interests.
During the early 1970s, Dr. Shortliffe was principal developer of the clinical expert system known as MYCIN. After a pause between 1976 and 1979 for internal medicine house-staff training at Harvard and Stanford Medical Schools (Massachusetts General Hospital and Stanford University Hospital), he joined the Stanford internal medicine faculty, where he directed an active research program in biomedical informatics. He also spearheaded the formation of Stanford's degree program in biomedical informatics. He served as Principal Investigator for Stanford's SUMEX-AIM and CAMIS Computing Resources, shared research facilities that supported biomedical informatics research and training from the early 1970s until 1997. Earlier SUMEX-AIM PIs had been Joshua Lederberg, Edward Feigenbaum, and Stanley Cohen. While at Stanford he also served as Chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine in the Department of Medicine and as Associate Chair of Medicine for Primary Care. Subsequently he assumed the role of Associate Dean for Information Resources and Technology while continuing to pursue his research and educational programs in medical informatics.
On January 1, 2000 he moved to Columbia University to assume the chairmanship of the Department of Biomedical Informatics. At Columbia he revitalized the department's graduate degree programs, more than doubled the size of the faculty, broadened its scope to include bioinformatics and public health informatics (as well as its foundational excellence in clinical informatics), oversaw a change in the department's name to Biomedical Informatics (from Medical Informatics), and helped to nurture the development of Columbia's role as a National Center of Excellence in Biomedical Computation (see the MAGNet Center).
On March 12, 2007, Dr. Shortliffe moved to Arizona to assume the role of founding dean of the University of Arizona's new College of Medicine campus in Phoenix. He served in that capacity until returning to the full-time faculty in the Department of Biomedical Sciences (University of Arizona College of Medicine) and the Department of Biomedical Informatics (Arizona State University).
In July 2009, Dr. Shortliffe assumed a position as President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Medical Informatics Association in Bethesda, Maryland. Later that year he moved his primary academic affiliation from Arizona to Texas, where he was a Professor in the School of Biomedical Informatics at the University of Texas Health Center in Houston. He and his wife, Dr. Vimla Patel, left Houston and returned to New York City in October 2011 where he holds a position as Chair Emeritus and adjunct professor in the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Columbia University's Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. In March 2012 he completed his term as President of AMIA and, from April 1, 2012 to June 30, 2017 served as a Scholar in Residence at the New York Academy of Medicine. He also joined the part-time faculty at Arizona State University where he served for six years as Professor of Biomedical Informatics and Special Advisor to the Dean in the College of Health Solutions. Since July 2013, he has also been a member of the adjunct faculty in the Department of Population Health Sciences (Health Informatics) at Weill Cornell College of Medicine. Since 2018 he has scaled back his role at Arizona State University to Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Informatics. From 2016-2020 he also served as a Senior Executive Consultant to IBM Watson Health.