Online Program

Genetics and genomics education at accredited schools and programs of public health

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Kaija Zusevics, PhD, MPH, CHES, Center for Urban Population Health, Wauwatosa, WI
Kimberly Strong, PhD, Program in Genomics and Ethics, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
Thomas May, PhD, Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities; Program in Genomics and Ethics, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
Genomics has the potential to shift the paradigm of disease prevention and public health. However, public health professionals are likely to have limited knowledge about genomics and its relationship to their work. Therefore, education about genomics is important for training in public health. We conducted an online review of accredited Schools of Public Health and Master's programs to determine the level of training in genomics. Utilizing the 2012 list of Schools and Programs of Public Health accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH), websites for each School and Program were reviewed to determine if they provide genetics or genomics training in their degree or certificate programs. Course listings were examined either through course titles or through an examination of the 2012-2013 Catalog for the School or Program. A total of 49 CEPH accredited Schools and 92 Programs were reviewed. Three Schools and no programs offered genomics training; 18 Schools and 2 programs offered genomics coursework; 1 School and no programs offered genomics and ethics coursework; and 27 Schools and 14 programs offered genetics coursework. Many courses in genetics focused on genetic epidemiology; fewer centered on the ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI) of genetic and genomic research. As the field of genomics advances, Schools and Programs of Public Health should consider increasing the number of educational opportunities they provide for students in genetics and genomics, including ELSI, so that public health professionals have adequate training to engage communities in discussions about these technologies.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Describe the scope of genetics and genomics education at accredited Schools and Programs of Public Health. Assess the degree to which current educational opportunities in genetics and genomics for public health students adequately addresses current and future needs of this population of learners.

Keyword(s): Education, Genetics

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a co-investigator and research assistant on several federally and regionally funded grants on health education and public health education. In addition, I completed the research study which I will present under the supervision of my postdoctoral mentors.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.