Press Release July 07, 2016

AMA, Scripps, JAX launch educational series for physicians on applying precision medicine to practice

The American Medical Association (AMA), in partnership with Scripps Translational Science Institute (Scripps) and The Jackson Laboratory (JAX), have announced a new online program aimed at educating physicians and other health care professionals on the benefits and limitations of genetic testing and when it is appropriate to incorporate it into their practices.

As part of the new 12-module “Precision Medicine for Your Practice” series, the organizations today launched the first educational module focused on expanded carrier screening. The module will help physicians who provide prenatal care to understand the benefits and limitations of using expanded genetic screening panels to estimate whether expectant and prospective parents risk passing on to their children dozens of conditions. The 11 future modules will focus on other applications of genetic testing, including targeted therapy in oncology, genomic sequencing, cardiogenomics, neurogenomics, pharmacogenomics and ethics in precision medicine.

“We can use new innovations in genetic testing to more precisely predict, diagnose and treat conditions in individual patients, instead of having to settle for a one-size-fits-all approach,” says AMA President Andrew W. Gurman, M.D. “These new modules will help more physicians and health care professionals become aware of the different ways that genetic testing can be used to improve health outcomes for patients.”

The modules, which carry CME credit, will be released individually over the next year and will be available online at www.jax.org/CEPM. In each module, clinicians will have the opportunity to practice applying genetic information to patient cases, assess the utility of genetic information, and learn about benefits and limitations of new genetic tests.

“Genomic information is important to all areas of medicine,” says Kate Reed, MPH, ScM, director of clinical education, JAX Genomic Education. “For genomic information to make an impact in patient care, health care providers need to have the knowledge and skills to apply it appropriately to patients. These short, interactive modules will help health care providers see how genetics applies to current patients.

“The collaboration of JAX, AMA and Scripps brings educational, clinical and research expertise to develop modules that are well informed by the science as well as the clinical experience,” Reed comments.

Laura Nicholson, M.D., Ph.D., director of education at Scripps, says, “Personalized genetic testing is transforming clinical practice at an unprecedented pace, too rapidly for most clinicians to stay current. With these short, case-based modules that can be completed in any number or order, we hope to engage busy physicians and clinical trainees with information and resources to comfortably incorporate these new technologies into practice.” 

This effort furthers the AMA’s work over the last decade to ensure that physicians have access to the resources and support they need to appropriately integrate personalized medicine services into practice to precisely target treatment and improve health outcomes. 

“We will continue to focus our efforts on improving the health of the nation and support efforts that ensure patients live richer and fuller lives while reducing health care costs,” says Dr. Gurman.