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Physician preparedness for big genomic data: a review of genomic medicine education initiatives in the United States.


In the last decade, genomic medicine education initiatives have surfaced across the spectrum of physician training in order to help address a gap in genomic medicine preparedness among physicians. The approaches are diverse and stem from the belief that 21st century physicians must be proficient in genomic medicine applications as they will be leaders in the precision medicine movement. We conducted a review of literature in genomic medicine education and training for medical students, residents, fellows, and practicing physicians with articles published between June 2015 and January 2018 to gain a picture of the current state of genomic medicine education with a focus on the United States. We found evidence of progress in the development of new and innovative educational programs and other resources aimed at increasing physician knowledge and readiness. Three overarching educational approach themes emerged, including immersive and experiential learning; interdisciplinary and interprofessional education; and electronic- and web-based approaches. This review is not exhaustive, nevertheless, it may inform future directions and improvements for genomic medicine education. Important next-steps include: (i) identifying and studying ways to best implement low-cost dissemination of genomic information; (ii) emphasizing genomic medicine education program evaluation and (iii) incorporating interprofessional and interdisciplinary initiatives. Genomic medicine education and training will become more and more relevant in the years to come as physicians increasingly interact with genomic and other precision medicine technologies.

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