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Direct-to-consumer genetic testing: A commentary

Konrad Karczewski, a teaching assistant in the medical school course on personalized genomics, has authored a very thoughtful commentary on the recent Government Accounting Office testimony on direct-to-consumer genetic testing. He writes in Professor Russ Altman’s Building confidence blog:

According to the testimony, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health, and Society notes that “[practitioners] cannot keep up with the pace of genetic tests and are not adequately prepared to use test information to treat patients appropriately.” While this may be true at present, this need not stop information from genetic tests from entering the clinic. A general practitioner may not be able to keep up with the latest advances in neurosurgery, but that’s where the specialist system thrives. In any case, just as clinicians are expected to demonstrate a basic level of competence in immunology in medical school, genetics must be treated the same way. Here at Stanford, a pilot project was launched to teach medical students about the field of genetic testing in an interactive classroom setting with state-of-the-art methods for analysis of personal genotypes.

The rest of the entry is recommended reading.

Related: Genotype testing for medical, graduate students

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