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FAQ Lab Research

Before contacting Dr. Chen, please check if he has addressed the topic of your inquiry below.

  • What is HealthRex?
    This really should be called the "Chen Lab" or research group, but... there are lot of Chen labs out there so we tried to come up with a more unique branding. Before the HealthRex group was established, the early prototype of our recommender system for clinical orders was published as OrderRex. Rex is an abbreviation for “recommendations,” but also means "king” (such as used in Tyrannosaurus rex), as we aspire to be a leader in clinical recommendation (decision support) tools. Dr. Chen also co-founded a company Reaction Explorer (REx) for organic chemistry expert systems. HealthRex reflects our mission to improve people’s health broadly, not necessarily based on medical interventions alone.
  • I am a Stanford medical student, resident, or clinical fellow in training and interested in learning and doing more medical informatics and clinical data science work. How can I get involved?
    Feel free to drop in on our weekly group meetings where we regularly review topics and practice skills in those areas. You’re welcome to see if there’s an existing project you might want to jump into. Please refer to the Group Meeting Calendar for times. Otherwise, you can request a meeting with me via the scheduling link if you would like to discuss more. From there, the process will largely be up to you, as I expect your time will be very limited due to your primary medical training responsibilities. However, it can still be good to explore possibilities.
  • I’m a Stanford student (undergrad or masters) who would like to gain research experience with the lab.
    If you’re interested in volunteer work or attending group meetings, just let me know. Your productivity determines how much time and attention I can provide you with. If you connect with our lab, you will be expected to regularly attend weekly group meetings and spend 10-20 hours per week on lab related work. If you'd like to sign up for course credit for research work, you can sign up for BIOMEDIN 299 for credit/no credit, but you must confirm that with me first so that I know what to expect of you. If you want to receive hourly pay for work, that can be arranged, but then you'll be an employee, not a student. In that case, you will have less latitude to choose what projects you want to work on and more likely be doing assorted support work. If you are looking for RA sponsorship in your Masters program, I may be able to arrange this during summers when your time is expected to be devoted to the lab. During the school year however, this is highly unlikely to be feasible. I would effectively have to pay you $100 per hour, and I don't even make that much money.
  • I’m interested in joining the lab for a postdoctoral fellowship or staff position.
    Take a look at the Open Positions page to see if there is a position that fits your skills and interests. Follow the process listed on the page to apply, and be sure to provide the materials requested. We expect that before you submit your application, you will have looked through some of the lab's prior publications and will be able to articulate why this is a match for your interests and skills, and better yet, propose what you'd like to work on together.
  • I’m a Stanford PhD graduate student looking to do a lab rotation.
    Click here to schedule an appointment with me so that we can chat about your interests and goals. I regularly work with graduate students in the Biomedical Informatics PhD training program as well as Computer Science, Management Science and Engineering, Statistics, and others.
  • I’m not a Stanford student, and would like to do a rotation or other work together.
    Please apply to one of the Stanford graduate programs. I'll be able to consider working with you after acceptance. We otherwise have no structure for directly working with students outside of the institution.
  • Do you do clinical work? Do you provide clinical shadowing?
    Yes. Most of my time is currently allocated to research and development, but I continue to practice as an attending physician on the Stanford Wards General Medicine service. This means I don’t perform surgery (other than minor procedures) and I don’t treat children, but otherwise I could be your doctor for any other reason in the hospital. I work with fantastic resident and student physicians, as well as clinical support staff (nurses, case managers, social workers, and more) who do most of the work while I largely provide motivational cheerleading in the background (with correction, guidance, and mentorship as needed). If you are already working with me and would like to do some clinical shadowing, I will be happy to have you along. This requires some paperwork (and verification of several vaccinations and TB testing by Occupational Health) to get a hospital ID badge.
  • Can you be on my PhD thesis committee?
    I am happy to discuss being a committee member for Ph.D. candidates if there is enough mutual interest and benefit for the student. However, candidates should be aware that I am considered University Medical Line faculty, and NOT a member of the “Academic Council/Senate.” Please visit this page to double-check whether I will be able to fulfill your committee requirements beforehand. Typically you can have one Non-Academic Committee Member faculty on your committee (such as myself), but not more than one (unless you expand the total size of the committee). If you need a petition for a Non-Academic Committee Member or a similar document, it can be found here.
  • What do you say to people who believe that doctors can be completely replaced by artificial intelligence?
    Either you don't know medicine or you don't know AI. In many cases, both.
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