Education is an important component of the UF Health Personalized Medicine Program, which is led by faculty from the UF College of Pharmacy and is part of the UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute.
Making personalized medicine a reality will require clinicians, staff, administrators and patients to work together toward a common goal — integrating genomic information into patient care. Recognizing that educators, students, health care providers and patients have unique educational needs when it comes to advancing genomic medicine, we are taking a personalized approach by developing tailored education programs for each audience. A hallmark of our approach is allowing participants to use their own genomic information – or personal genotype evaluation – as part of the learning process if they desire.
Making It Personal & Evaluating What Works
There have been great scientific advances in understanding genetic variability and its association with drug response, drug toxicity and disease. Emerging science and technology in this field have important implications for patient care, but routine use of genetic data to inform health care decisions is still limited. While providers are generally aware of potential clinical applications, many do not feel adequately prepared to apply genetic information to patient care. To help expand and inform educational strategies in this arena, the UF Health Personalized Medicine Program is developing and evaluating educational programs that give participants the option to have a select panel of pharmacogenetic markers tested under a research protocol in the UF Center for Pharmacogenomics laboratory. They can use their own test results to complete and discuss patient cases in an online classroom. This personalized approach has previously been associated with participants gaining a better understanding of genomic medicine concepts and of the patient’s perspective, and we will be undertaking research to further evaluate and inform the effectiveness of this strategy for different audiences, including health care professional students and health care providers.