Improving Genomic Literacy Among Cardiovascular Practitioners via a Flipped-Classroom Workshop at a National Meeting
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The enormous progress in the field of human genetics since the completion of the Human Genome Project—most notably the identification of both rare and common variants associated with a plethora of clinical traits and diseases through novel methodologies, such as the genome-wide association study and next-generation DNA sequencing—has revolutionized our understanding of human health. At the same time, this progress threatens to outstrip the ability to apply these discoveries to clinical care for the benefit of patients. One significant barrier is a lack of genomic literacy among clinical practitioners,1–4 not surprising given that many advances in genetics and genomics have emerged recently, well after the completion of formal training by most practitioners.
Published examples of attempts to enhance the teaching of clinical genomics to medical learners have largely been lecture based. For example, the Stanford University’s Department of Pathology created a Genomic Medicine course for their residents and fellows that comprised a series of 10 lectures that were also made available online.5 In another example, the Tufts University School of Medicine’s medical school curriculum added a lecture on the science and technology of genomic testing and incorporated a homework assignment in which students analyzed the results of genome testing of anonymous patients.6 Neither of these educational innovations address the considerable need to educate active practitioners about genetics and genomics in a way that does not rely on traditional lecture-based classroom learning—an impracticality for busy professionals—but rather draws from best practices in adult education, including the growing recognition of the superiority of active-learning approaches in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education, such as the so-called flipped classroom.7
In 2010, through the Program Directors Section of the Association of Pathology Chairs, the Training Residents in Genomics (TRIG) working group (WG) was formed to create teaching tools …