Despite the growing availability of genomic tools for clinical care, many health care providers experience gaps in genomics knowledge and skills that serve as impediments to widespread and appropriate integration of genomics into routine care. A workshop recently held by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Roundtable on Translating Genomics-Based Research for Health explored 1) the barriers that result in a perception among health care providers that the need for genomics education is not urgent and 2) the drivers that may spur a change in that attitude. This commentary promotes continuing and graduate education—informed by an awareness of barriers, drivers, and best practices—as the most effective approaches for preparing the workforce for genomic medicine and ultimately improving patient care, and argues that the time for education is now.
Dr. Dougherty: Director of Education, American Society of Human Genetics, Bethesda, MD and Adjoint Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO. Ms. Wicklund: Director, Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL. Dr. Johansen Taber: Director of Personalized Medicine, American Medical Association, Chicago, IL.
Correspondence: Michael J. Dougherty, PhD, American Society of Human Genetics, 9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD, 20814; e-mail: email@example.com.
Disclosures: M. J. Dougherty discloses that he is employed by a nonprofit organization (ASHG) engaged in the education of health care professionals. K. A. Johansen Taber discloses that she is employed by the American Medical Association, which funds several initiatives to improve physician continuing medical education. The other author declares no conflict of interest.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the views of their affiliated organizations, institutions, government agencies, or the Institute of Medicine.