Dr. Elijah Salzer
Purpose: The purpose of this article is to review the current state of the PA profession regarding genetics/genomics education and workforce issues. It will specifically address factors affecting the PA role in performing genetics-related work in current clinical practice including the history of PA genetics education, the landscape of the genetics workforce, and the feasibility of medical genetics for PAs. In addition, it will highlight challenges facing the PA profession in implementation of genetics education for PAs and PA students, consequently affecting potential opportunities for the PA genetics workforce for improving patient care through precision medicine in all fields of medicine.
Method: A PubMed literature search was conducted with search terms physician assistant, genetics, genomics, education, and work force. Twenty five pertinent articles were retrieved and served as the basis for this clinical review.
Results: A lack of recent evidence-based research, current surveys of general genetics information programs or PAs’ attitudes towards genetic education; a lack of information regarding the PA genetics workforce or desirability of the medical genetics field.
Conclusion: PAs have been discussing the need for improved PA education in genetics historically, however, further research is needed to establish the current state of PA education in genetics, PA attitudes towards genetic education, PA willingness to join the medical genetics workforce, and any roadblocks to implementation of precision medicine in everyday clinical practice.
Park NH. Precision Medicine and PAs: Education, Workforce, and Implementation Challenges. Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science. 2022; 4(4).
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