Vimla Patel is a Senior Research Scientist and Director of the new Center for Cognitive Studies in Medicine and Public Health. She also holds an appointment as Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Informatics in the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University. She earned her master’s degree and PhD in educational psychology from McGill University.
Dr. Patel is accomplished in the areas of biomedical informatics and cognitive psychology and their application in health and medical care settings, especially in the areas of translation of evidence into practice. She seeks to understand how people learn and take up accurate information and what factors promote them to act on that learning. She has explored strategies for public engagement, team and group decision making, cross cultural communication, and the use of social media in prevention. With urban immigrant populations, she has looked at cognitive determinants of medical awareness and risk-taking behavior.
Currently, Dr. Patel directs a major five-year James S. McDonnell Foundation research project on Complexity and Error in Health Care with a focus on patient safety. She is an associate editor of the Journal of Biomedical Informatics and sits on the editorial boards of Artificial Intelligence in Medicine and Advances in Health Science Education. Serving as an organizer of many meetings, workshops, and symposia, Dr. Patel is an active contributor to the fields of biomedical informatics, cognitive science, and clinical decision-making, and has more than 250 scholarly publications.