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Short course prepares medical professionals for genomics

More medical professionals will know how to choose the right genomic test for patients, and order and interpret the test reports, after a new Melbourne Genomics’ short course gets underway in coming weeks.

The course, Genomics in the Clinic: An Introduction for Medical Professionals, has been designed specifically for adult and paediatric consultants and trainees to build skills and knowledge in the rapidly growing area of clinical genomics.

“Genomics is beginning to play a role across many components of everyday healthcare and, as a result, medical specialists are telling us they need more knowledge,” said Melbourne Genomics Clinical Project Manager, Elly Lynch.

“Our goal with this short course is to increase medical professionals’ confidence in referring or ordering genomic tests and in interpreting genomic results for patients.”

The course includes an online component which participants will complete in their own time, culminating in a face-to-face workshop in August.

Up to 80 clinicians were expected to participate in the inaugural course intake but demand was even higher, with 100 clinicians registering interest.

“Following the success of Melbourne Genomics’ face-to-face workshops, we are piloting a blended learning model for this new course, in which a significant proportion of learning can be conducted online,” Elly said.

“Evaluation of this approach will provide us with insights about how professional education can be best offered sustainably into the future.”

The Genomics in the Clinic content is being developed by Education Officer, Dr Fran Maher, Learning Designer, Taryn Charles, and Workforce Development Lead, Dr Amy Nisselle, with input from a steering group of Melbourne Genomics members. Dr Kortnye Smith (PeterMac) has been involved in developing content for the cancer component. 

The course’s online modules will include downloadable resources, such as guidelines for selecting the right test for the right patient, and an infographic highlighting the steps involved in genomic testing. Case studies will highlight real patient examples where genomics is applicable, for inherited conditions and cancer in both paediatric and adult care.

Clinicians from the Melbourne Genomics member hospitals were nominated to undertake the course, which is now fully booked.