Lessons learned from the introduction of personalized genotyping into a medical school curriculum

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Purpose: There is an expanding gap between the availability of direct-to-consumer whole genome testing and physician knowledge regarding interpretation of test results. Advances in the genomic literacy of health care providers will be necessary for genomics to exert its potential to affect clinical practice. However, implementation of a major shift in medical education to include genomics is not easily done. The purpose of this educational report is to describe efforts to incorporate knowledge of personalized medicine into a medical school curriculum. Methods: In this report, we describe the experiences, both good and bad, of a multidisciplinary faculty group that examined ways to improve genomic education at Tufts University School of Medicine during a 16-month period. Results: The results of the faculty's deliberation process resulted in the use of anonymous, rather than student genomes, to teach material on genomic medicine. Conclusion: Increased medical school education regarding genomic analysis and personalized medicine is a necessity, both to be able to translate the advances made by the Human Genome Project into improvements in human health and to begin to think of diseases as disruptions in specific pathways. Our experiences illustrate that adding this material to a medical school curriculum is a complex process that deserves careful thought and broad discussion within the academic community. © 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.




Walt, D. R., Kuhlik, A., Epstein, S. K., Demmer, L. A., Knight, M., Chelmow, D., … Bianchi, D. W. (2011). Lessons learned from the introduction of personalized genotyping into a medical school curriculum. Genetics in Medicine, 13(1), 63–66. https://doi.org/10.1097/GIM.0b013e3181f872ac

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