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D. Ray Smith

Benita Albert continues her series on the Buchanan family of graduates from Oak Ridge Schools.

Joel Buchanan's school photo


Joel Buchanan is a 1973 Oak Ridge High School (ORHS) graduate who has had a distinguished career in medicine. Now he is initiating a technology plan that offers problem-oriented, auto-summaries of medical records for physicians. The plan promotes the use of concept maps generated from electronic health records (EHRs) with filters for sorting patient data related to a current medical condition. His innovation is a game changer for the many massive databases that exist for individual patients and doctors whose task is to diagnose and treat.

Joel is now professor of medicine (emeritus) at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. From 1993-2019, he served as the medical director for information systems for the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics. This position and his medical practice experience no doubt shaped what is now his ongoing quest to provide enhanced technological support for the medical community. Though the technology of his early medical career was limited, Joel stayed abreast of the rapidly expanding tech world. In this first part of his story there is evidence that some of the influences Joel experienced as an Oak Ridge youth foretold his eventual career.

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