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Genetics Education for Health Professionals

Mission

 

To develop and implement genomics education for health professionals that improves the practice of medicine and patient health outcomes.

 

Background

 

The ASHG Board of Directors has approved a strategic plan for the Society that prioritizes the education of health professionals who are not genetics specialists. These practitioners span a range from specialists (e.g., cardiology, oncology) to generalists (e.g., primary care) and constitute the vast majority of providers, yet they lack access to quality education that enables them to incorporate the latest advances in genetic risk assessment, testing, and management into their practices. ASHG seeks to remedy this deficiency, with support from its partners in the healthcare, pharmaceutical, and diagnostics industries.

 

New CME Programs

 

Genetics in Your Clinic: What You Can and Should Do Now: An ASHG Virtual Meeting (view agenda)

 

Cancer Genetics Management in the Primary Care Setting

 

Cancer Risk Assessment, Testing, and Management, by The Jackson Laboratory

 

New Webinars

 

February 24, 2016 (WEBINAR REPLAY) - Technical and Validity Measures for NGS Data - Community Tools and Standards

 

September 1, 2015 (WEBINAR REPLAY) - Standardization for NGS Testing - Issues of Clinical Validity and Utility

 

New Infographics

 

March 24, 2015 - Series: Pediatric Genetic Testing

 

Genetically Speaking

 

ASHG has partnered with ReachMD to develop the interview series Genetically Speaking. These 15-minute interviews feature leading experts in clinical genetics care and research.

 

Genetics Education Resources for Practitioners

Genetic Alliance & ASHG: "Guide to Understanding Genetics" (June 2006)

A group of experts from Genetic Alliance and ASHG worked in partnership to create a straightforward guide for the general public, health care providers, and their patients. The guide covers basic information about genetics concepts and provides in-depth information about genetic conditions, newborn screening, family-history gathering, genetic counseling, as well as an overview of different types of genetic tests and their applications.

 

The American College of Medical Genetics (ACMG)

ACMG is responsible for providing education, resources and a voice for the medical genetics profession. ACMG also strives to make genetic services available to the public to improve health.

 

Association of Professors of Human and Medical Genetics (APHMG)

APHMG is a group of organizations that promotes health and medical genetics educational programs in North American medical and graduate schools. More than ninety institutions are now official members of the Association.

 

Public Health Genomics at CDC

The CDC/OPHG website provides a wealth of genetics materials and resources containing information for health care professionals and the general public, including:

CDC Genomics Fact Sheets:

CDC Genomics Reports:

CDC Genomics Tools:

CDC Review (Journal Article):

GeneTests

An NIH-funded medical genetics information resource developed for health care providers and researchers as a current, authoritative source of information on genetic testing and its use in diagnosis, management and genetic counseling. The following slide presentations are of interest to healthcare providers:

The American Medical Association (AMA)

The AMA website provides a wealth of genetics information, materials, and CME program resources that inform health providers about the basic science of genetics, and describe how knowledge gained from research advances and discoveries in the field can be applied to general medical practice. Some genetics resources of interest featured on the AMA website include the following:

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)
The American Family Physicians Genetics website, published by AAFP, provides medical genetics resources to teach physicians how to communicate accurately and effectively with patients and the public about the clinical, legal, social, and ethical issues involved in this rapidly-growing area of medicine.

University of Washington Center for Genomics & Public Health
This center offers a wealth of genetics information and resources for providers, organized by subject area or topic. This site covers the following topics in depth: genetic testingfamily historygenetics of specific health disorders, and risk-benefit frameworks. Some items of interest to health professionals include:

Genetic Alliance: "Understanding Genetics: A Guide for Patients and Professionals"

The Genetic Alliance (a non-profit organization that supports genetics policy and advocacy efforts) created an online guide to understanding genetics that covers basic scientific concepts and provides information about diagnoses of genetic conditions, family-history gathering, newborn screening, genetic counseling and genetic testing types and applications. The content in this guide focuses on patient care, genetic services and patient/provider education.

 

Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO): "Useful Links- Genetics"
The CHEO website features a comprehensive list of links to online genetics resources of interest to health care practitioners.

 

National Coalition for Health Professional Education in Genetics (NCHPEG)

NCHPEG is a group of partner organizations that have teamed up in a national effort to promote health care provider education and access to information about advances in human genetics. NCHPEG drafted a set of recommendations in response to requests for additional guidance on basic instructions to genetics.

 

Helpful "Quick Reference" Resources for Practitioners

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Established by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) and the Office of Rare Diseases (ORD), GARD employs experienced information specialists to answer questions from the general public – including patients and their families, health care professionals, and biomedical researchers. The following materials describe the services GARD offers to health providers:

  • "Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center Brochure"- This resource provides basic information about genetic and rare diseases and a brief description of the services that the GARD offers. The brochure also features a brief overview on genes and genetic diseases.
  • "About GARD Postcard"- A handy card that provides contact information for the Genetics and Rare Diseases Information Center's team of experienced information specialists.

National Library of Medicine (NLM) Genetics Home Reference

An online guide to understanding genetic conditions that provides consumer-friendly information about the effects of genetic variations on human health.

 

Emory Department of Human Genetics: Genetics Fact Sheet Series
The Emory Human Genetics Department website features a series of fact sheets for healthcare professionals that provide disease-specific information on human genomics and the application of genetic research and testing in clinical practice.

 

March of Dimes: "Genetics & Your Practice"
The resources on this website provide practical information and matierals to assist the busy professional in integrating genetics into their patient care. The website includes customized information for providers working with the following patient types: preconception/prenatal, infants/children, and adolescents/adults.

 

Medical Genetics: Incorporating Genetics in Clinical Practice

ASHG & Duke Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy (IGSP): "Preparing Physicians to Practice Genomic Medicine"

This commentary from the June 2004 issue of Medical Device Link/IVD Technology was co-authored by ASHG's Executive Vice President, Dr. Joann Boughman. This article describes the integration of new genomic technologies into clinical practice and the impact that this process will have on the IVD industry. 

 

ACMG Information Sheet: "Graduate Education in Medical Genetics"
ACMG created this educational resource to provide background information on careers in medical genetics and outline the necessary training and certification programs for working in this field.

 

National Human Genome Research Institute (NIH/NHGRI): "Physician Assistant Competencies for Genomic Medicine: Where We Are Today and How to Prepare for the Future" (March 2007)

Physician Assistants (PAs) are a vital part of the medical team and are thus well-positioned to integrate existing genomic tools into current practice. This NHGRI meeting summary outlines the recommendations for ways that PAs can utilize current and anticipated knowledge of genetics as the basis for improving clinical care, and how they can make personalized medicine a regular part of patient care.

 

Genetics in Primary Care (GPC): "Training Program Curriculum Materials" (September 2001)
The case studies and other materials included in this resource are designed to serve as a bridge between genetics and primary care by engaging medical students’ and residents’ interest in genetics topics. The topics selected for case studies are based on the eight core areas of primary care practice.

 

Personalized Medicine and Pharmacogenetics Resources

Personalized Medicine Coalition (PMC)
This independent, non-profit group works to advance the understanding and adoption of personalized medicine for the ultimate benefit of patients.

Pharmacogenomics at CDC
This CDC website features information and materials on the public health perspective of Pharmacogenetics.

UCSF: "Pharmacogenomics and Patient Care: One Size Does Not Fit All"
This article summarizes key issues and challenges related to the advancement and adoption of personalized medicine that are commonly encountered by legislators, health care professionals, and consumers.

Genetic Testing Resources

ASHG Position Statement on Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Genetic Testing (Jan. 2007)
ASHG drafted this policy statemetn to set forth the basic principles and guidelines that should govern all health-related genetic tests that can be ordered directly by a consumer, and whose results are reported DTC without an independent health care provider.

National Human Genome Research Institute (NIH/NHGRI): "Regulation of Genetic Tests"
This website provides information for health providers and the general public that explains the proper use of genetic tests and how they are regulated. Resources of interest include: U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC): "At-Home Genetic Tests: A Healthy Dose of Skepticism May Be the Best Prescription"
This fact sheet provides guidelines for interpreting test results and evaluating companies' claims about the validity and accuracy of direct-to-consumer genetic testing products.

Mayo Clinic: "Tests and Procedures: Genetic Testing"
This guide that provides definitions of, reasons behind, and tips on what to expect from genetic testing.

Family History Resources for Practitioners

U.S. Surgeon General's Family History Initiative
This site features disease-specific health risk fact sheets written specifically for primary care physicians, which encourage physicians to discuss family history information with their patients. This website also promotes the use of the Surgeon General's Family Health Portrait Tool to collect information from patients.

Genetic Alliance: "Does it Run in the Family?" Toolkit
This toolkit allows users to create tailored family health history tools, with the goal of promoting conversations about health within the family and translating knowledge of family health history into healthy choices.

ASHG Health Care Provider Guide: "Family History Law: Guidelines for Health Practitioners"

ASHG helped write this guide for medical and health professionals that highlights the core ethical and legal challenges they must consider when utilizing family health history and other genetic information in clinical practice. This resource also provides information and guidelines for legal issues such as patient confidentiality, informed consent and genetic discrimination.

Audio Clips and Podcasts

Interview with Muin Khoury (CDC) on Personal Genomics Services Being Offered Directly to Consumers

The New England Journal of Medicine- Jan. 10, 2008
Dr. Muin Khoury, MD, PhD discusses the potential benefits and risks involved in the applications and use of direct-to-consumer genetic testing. Dr. Khoury is the director of the National Office of Public Health Genomics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

CDC Featured Podcast: "Family History- An Early Warning for Your Child"
The CDC's National Center on Birth Defects & Developmental Disabilities- Nov. 28, 2007
Dr. Paula Yoon and Dr. Tracy Trotter from the CFC address the use of family health history information in pediatric settings. This podcast speaks to both practitioners and parents in describing how "collecting family history information could save your child's life." Parents should listen to learn more about how knowing this important information could benefit the entire family.

Presentation Resources

ASHG Presentation: "Genetics Education & Training for Health Care Professionals" Oct. 2003
Dr. Joann Boughman, PhD, ASHG Executive Vice President

CDC Presentation Resources: Genomics and the Future of Public Health" Symposium

A series of slide and video presentations from the CDC's symposium held on May 5, 2003; features digital clips of presentations by ASHG members, including;

  • Dr. Francis S. Collins (Director, National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH)
  • Dr. Muin J. Khoury (Director, National Office of Public Health Genomics, CDC; ASHG Executive Board Members, 2006-2009)
 

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