The development of core learning outcomes relevant to clinical practice: identifying priority areas for genetics education for non-genetics specialist registrars.
ABSTRACT Advances in medical genetics are increasingly impacting on clinical practice outside specialist genetic services. It is widely acknowledged that physicians will need to use genetics knowledge and skills in order to incorporate these advances into patient care. In order to determine priority areas for genetics education for non-genetics specialist registrars, an educational needs assessment was undertaken. Consultants from cardiology, dermatology, neurology and genetics identified genetics knowledge, skills and attitudes required by non-genetics specialty trainees. From these, and informed by trainees' views of genetic education, six genetics learning outcomes that non-genetics medical specialty trainees should attain by the end of their training have been identified, each linked to core knowledge, skills and attitudes. These core concepts can be taught with reference to specialty-specific conditions to highlight their relevance to clinical practice. The results of this study are informing the genetic component of postgraduate medical training curricula.
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ABSTRACT: Medical students often perceive genetics as a discipline focused on rare diseases with relevance only to genetics specialists. Because genetic testing has now infiltrated most if not all medical disciplines, we need new teaching approaches to help trainees incorporate emerging genetic testing strategies appropriately into medical practice. With the ever-increasing number of known disease-associated genes, it is also important to shift from a paradigm of memorization to one of critical evaluation and an awareness of available resources. We designed case-based virtual laboratory sessions for first-year medical students at Emory University. These sessions emphasize both rare and common health issues and allow the students to practice applying their fundamental genetics knowledge in the diagnostic setting. These sessions proved a valuable approach to presenting the intricacies of diagnostic genetic testing. Students rate the sessions very highly, with 92% of them agreeing or strongly agreeing that the sessions had educational value. The students commented that ours was an effective approach to teaching the material that illustrates well the impact of genetics on patient care. The virtual diagnostic laboratory approach is an effective, nonlecture-based method of teaching medical students about genetic testing strategies and their application in the clinical setting.Genetics in medicine: official journal of the American College of Medical Genetics 08/2011; 13(11):973-7. · 3.92 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: As advances in genetics are becoming increasingly relevant to mainstream healthcare, a major challenge is to ensure that these are integrated appropriately into mainstream medical services. In 2003, the Department of Health for England announced the availability of start-up funding for ten 'Mainstreaming Genetics' pilot services to develop models to achieve this. Multiple methods were used to explore the pilots' experiences of incorporating genetics which might inform the development of new services in the future. A workshop with project staff, an email questionnaire, interviews and a thematic analysis of pilot final reports were carried out. Seven themes relating to the integration of genetics into mainstream medical services were identified: planning services to incorporate genetics; the involvement of genetics departments; the establishment of roles incorporating genetic activities; identifying and involving stakeholders; the challenges of working across specialty boundaries; working with multiple healthcare organisations; and the importance of cultural awareness of genetic conditions. Pilots found that the planning phase often included the need to raise awareness of genetic conditions and services and that early consideration of organisational issues such as clinic location was essential. The formal involvement of genetics departments was crucial to success; benefits included provision of clinical and educational support for staff in new roles. Recruitment and retention for new roles outside usual career pathways sometimes proved difficult. Differences in specialties' working practices and working with multiple healthcare organisations also brought challenges such as the 'genetic approach' of working with families, incompatible record systems and different approaches to health professionals' autonomous practice. 'Practice points' have been collated into a Toolkit which includes resources from the pilots, including job descriptions and clinical tools. These can be customised for reuse by other services. Healthcare services need to translate advances in genetics into benefits for patients. Consideration of the issues presented here when incorporating genetics into mainstream medical services will help ensure that new service developments build on the body of experience gained by the pilots, to provide high quality services for patients with or at risk of genetic conditions.BMC Health Services Research 01/2010; 10:125. · 1.77 Impact Factor