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Medicine's Future: A Genomics Curriculum for Clinicians

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In collaboration with the Genomics Medicine Institute (GMI) at El Camino Hospital, a community hospital in northern California, and Genetic Alliance, NCHPEG developed an in-person CME curriculum on genomic medicine. This 10 month curriculum uses best practices from adult education theory to address needs of providers in a community-based setting.

See what it's all about

This page describes the curriculum and provides samples of all pieces of the curriculum: slides, small group handouts, pre- and post-session resources, and takeaways.

Curriculum Goals

Engaging clinicians in continuing education to integrate genomics into their clinical practices requires an approach that emphasizes the relevancy of the information to their practice, provides participants an opportunity to practice their new skills in a safe environment with peer feedback, and meets the time constraints of busy practicing clinicians.

The goal of the curriculum is to help providers integrate genomic thinking into their practice.  The specific learning objectives are:

  • Recognize individuals in their practice with an increased genetic load for disease
  • Implement clinically valid genetic testing in a clinical setting
  • Apply genomic information in the management of a patient
  • Help patients navigate complex genomic information

Educational Approach

The curriculum consists of 10 2- hour case-based workshops that combine large group presentation and discussion to introduce the major principles with small group work to apply the principles to realistic cases. The workshops are designed to be facilitated by a provider knowledgeable about genetics principles as they are used in patient care. By using a case-based, facilitated approach, as opposed to the usual lecture format, we provide the participants opportunity to identify potential roadblocks to the clinical integration of the skills and knowledge that they've learned and to work through solutions with their colleagues and the facilitators.

The curriculum consists of initial workshops on the fundamentals of risk assessment, genetic testing, and communication followed by workshops with a specific disease focus that apply and build on those basic concepts. The condition-specific workshops cover pharmacogenomics, cancer, cardiology, neurology, pediatrics and prenatal, and complex conditions. Videos developed by Genetic Alliance and integrated into each workshop help keep the focus of the material patient-centered.

Curriculum Components

Slides and Facilitator Notes

A set of slides with facilitator notes is available for each workshop.  The slides cover the key messages, content, and learning objectives.  The goal of the slides is to engage participants in learning and making connections to their own experiences.  Therefore, the slides contain a minimum amount of text to increase discussion and interaction.  Each slide has a key point and additional details for the facilitator in the notes section.  The sample set provided here contains examples of the introduction, interactive case studies, small group discussion, and patient videos.

Medicine's Future: A Genomics Curriculum for Clinicians - Sample slides

Small Group Handouts

The small group discussions give participants a chance to practice new skills and apply knowledge learned from the large group presentation and discussion to realistic cases.  The groups are given information about the patient, supplementary materials to ensure they have the factual information they need, and a list of discussion questions.  Each group provides feedback to the larger group.

Medicine's Future - Small Group Handouts Cardiogenomics

Takeaways

The focus of the curriculum is on competencies and skills, not on knowledge alone.  The case studies throughout the curriculum cover a wide range of conditions from single gene disorders to common, complex conditions.  The takeaways provide participants factual information about the conditions covered for later reference.

Medicine's Future - Takeaways Neurogenomics

Pre- and Post-Session Resources

Participants may come into the workshops with a variety of clinical background and experience with genetics.  The pre-session resources provide overviews of the concepts for each session to bring everyone up to the same starting level.  The post-session resources provide participants the opportunity to go deeper into some of the concepts covered.

Medicine's Future - Resources Prenatal

Patient videos

Patient videos, developed by Genetic Alliance, help ensure that the patient perspective is embedded into the structure of the workshops.  We use the videos to remind providers of the impact of genetics on the patients and to consider issues with regard to communication and patient-centered care. GA has provided all of videos so that they can be used outside of the curriculum.

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Continuing Education Credit

The American Medical Association (AMA) provides CME for this curriculum, 2 hours for each workshop and up to 20 hours for the entire curriculum. To obtain credit, participants must complete a pre- and post-test evaluation online for each workshop they attend. Other types of health providers go through the same process to obtain a certificate of completion that can be submitted to their own professional organization.

For More Information

The curriculum capitalizes on NCHPEG's experience working with target audiences to focus on desired clinical practice outcomes, rather than simply increasing knowledge.  Read more about the curriculum here. For more information about using this curriculum in your institution or to develop a curriculum targeted for your providers, contact Kate.