Design of a Genomics Curriculum: Competencies for Practicing Pathologists

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Archives of pathology & laboratory medicine


CONTEXT: The field of genomics is rapidly impacting medical care across specialties. To help guide test utilization and interpretation, pathologists must be knowledgeable about genomic techniques and their clinical utility. The technology allowing timely generation of genomic data is relatively new to patient care and the clinical laboratory, and therefore, many currently practicing pathologists have been trained without any molecular or genomics exposure. Furthermore, the exposure that current and recent trainees receive in this field remains inconsistent.

OBJECTIVE: To assess pathologists' learning needs in genomics and to develop a curriculum to address these educational needs.

DESIGN: A working group formed by the College of American Pathologists developed an initial list of genomics competencies (knowledge and skills statements) that a practicing pathologist needs to be successful. Experts in genomics were then surveyed to rate the importance of each competency. These data were used to create a final list of prioritized competencies. A subset of the working group defined subtopics and tasks for each competency. Appropriate delivery methods for the educational material were also proposed.

RESULTS: A final list of 32 genomics competency statements was developed. A prioritized curriculum was created with designated subtopics and tasks associated with each competency.

CONCLUSIONS: We present a genomics curriculum designed as a first step toward providing practicing pathologists with the competencies needed to practice successfully.

Medical Subject Headings

Clinical Competence; Curriculum; Genomics; Humans; Pathology

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