Genomic educational resources for physicians added to G2C2 website

The Genetics/Genomics Competency Center (G2C2) - www.g-2-c-2.org - is a free, online collection of materials for use in the classroom and for self-directed learning in genetics and genomics, created by the National Human Genome Research Institute's (NHGRI) Genomic Healthcare Branch, within the Division of Policy, Communications and Education.

Since 2010, G2C2 developers have assembled educational materials for genetic counselors, nurses, pharmacists and physicians assistants. Now, through the efforts of the Inter-Society Coordinating Committee for Practitioner Education in Genomics (ISCC), the G2C2 resource has been expanded to include a new collection of resources for physicians. 

"This resource seeks to bridge the gap," said Jean Jenkins, R.N., Ph.D., NHGRI clinical advisor, Genomic Healthcare Branch. "Genomic information is becoming increasingly more relevant to physicians' practice. We wanted to put these learning materials in one place so they can find them easily." 

The educational materials are in various forms, including webinars, glossaries, fact sheets, guides and self-study activities. Many of these materials are free to access and allow physicians to earn Continuing Medical Education credit.

The materials cover a range of skill areas, including:
  • Obtaining, documenting and acting on a patient's family health history.
  • Using genomic testing to guide patient treatment and management.
  • Guiding cancer diagnosis and treatment with the help of genomic information.
  • Identifying microbial contributors to human health and disease using genomic information.
Physicians' societies, including the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics, and other professional organizations, submitted materials for this resource. An ISCC working group, made up of doctors, scientists and educators, provided peer review for them.

Robert Roberts, M.D., president and chief executive officer, University of Ottawa Heart Institute, chaired the working group. He expressed optimism about the new materials.

"The societies that submitted these materials are organizations that physicians trust. We're confident these educational materials will greatly help them," Dr. Roberts said.

Bruce Korf, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair, Department of Genetics, The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, chaired a second ISCC working group that developed a framework for genomic medicine competencies to which the materials correspond.

"We want these organizations to define the competencies for their specific area of practice," he said. "Our focus is what physicians can do with genomic medicine, rather than what they simply know about it."

Those who wish to propose educational materials that are applicable to physicians can submit them for peer review at http://www.g-2-c-2.org/share_resources/index.php.

"We're excited to integrate this new physician's resource with those for other health professionals," said Laura Lyman Rodriguez, Ph.D., director, Division of Policy, Communications and Education, NHGRI. "Healthcare providers must have trusted tools and resources to rely upon if they are to successfully integrate genomics into their patients' care."

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Posted: June 3, 2014