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Pathologists call for new training program to support personalized medicine
Date:6/30/2010

BOSTON Doctors in the Department of Pathology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) have issued "A Call to Action" for the medical profession to catch up with the technology and business communities in the application of genomics to personalized health care.

In a Special Article in this month's issue of the American Journal of Clinical Pathology, senior author Jeffrey Saffitz, MD, PhD, and colleagues call for Genomics and Personalized Medicine to become a core competency for all Pathology trainees by 2012, writing, "Genomics and 'medical sequencing' will revolutionize clinical laboratory diagnostics as the foundation for the new era of personalized medicine..Pathologists must take the lead in the application of genomics technologies, including whole genome sequencing, laboratory technologies and personalized medicine."

As a critical first step in leading this charge, the BIDMC Department of Pathology, in collaboration with BIDMC's genetic counseling service, last year launched the Genomic Medicine Initiative, a first-of-its-kind compulsory program to prepare doctors-in-training to apply genomics and personalized medicine in their day-to-day practices.

"This is emerging as one of the most significant shifts in medical education in decades," says Saffitz, Chief of Pathology at BIDMC and Mallinckrodt Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School. "Diagnostic Pathology is the medical specialty where the results of multiple diagnostic tests and other patient data are analyzed and interpreted. Why should a patient's genotyping results be any different? We feel that it is our responsibility as the diagnostic enablers of clinical medicine to understand genomics information and to serve as primary consultants for physicians and patients who need to know how to interpret and act on this data."

The new BIDMC pathology curriculum addresses these key issues, with the new medical specialty built on three pillars: la
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Contact: Bonnie Prescott
bprescot@bidmc.harvard.edu
617-667-7306
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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