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AMP submits comments on SACGHS report

Washington, DC (June 29, 2010): Yesterday, the Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP) submitted comments on the Draft Report of the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health, and Society on Genetics Education and Training of Health Care Professionals, Public Health Providers, and Consumers.

The Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP) commends the Secretary's Advisory Committee for recognizing the importance of professional and public education and training in genetics and addressing the needs in this area. AMP offers a number of continuing education programs for health professionals in genetics and genomics, including the AMP annual scientific meeting, outreach courses to health professionals, a review course in molecular genetic pathology, and online webinars geared to health professionals.

"One of the missions of AMP is to enhance training and education in molecular pathology including molecular genetics," said Dr. Karen Weck, Chair of the AMP Training & Education Committee, which oversees and implements educational programs in molecular pathology, mentors trainees, and provides input to public and professional education initiatives.

Although overall the draft document is well considered, AMP believes that the report overlooks the contribution of pathologists and non-physician laboratory directors as providers of health care in genetics and in genetic training and education. "Molecular pathology professionals who perform and interpret genetic tests play a key role in the education of clinicians and consumers in the best use and interpretation of genetic tests," said AMP President Dr. Karen Mann, "We are concerned that neither AMP nor other pathology or laboratory organizations were included in the list of health care professional organizations surveyed for the draft report, nor were these essential groups of health care professionals listed as a key provider of genetic services or of genetic education." AMP recommended that the role of pathologists and laboratorians as health care providers of genetic testing and their contribution to genetic education of clinicians and patients should be included in the SACGHS document.

AMP agrees overall with the recommendations of SACGHS to improve education and training in genetics, and was most pleased with the inclusion of the recommendations that would address innovative approaches to integrating genetics and genomics into clinical care and address current issues in reimbursement for performance and interpretation of genetic tests by qualified laboratory professionals.

"AMP thanks the SACGHS for the time and effort that went into writing the draft report and for considering our comments," said Dr. Mann, "and we look forward to working with the SACGHS, the Department of Health and Human Services, and others to improve education and training in genetics."


Contact: Mary Steele Williams
Association for Molecular Pathology

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