Training and educational options for genomics
Genomics education infographic "Where do I start?" (full size image): Image shows a doctor starting on a journey, including: University qualifications, university modules, GeNotes Genomics encyclopedia (coming soon), Massive open online courses, and RCOG online learning plan.
Open access learning plan
The RCOG Genomics Taskforce has developed an open-access 3-step learning plan using a wealth of online tutorials and workshops. There are specialist lectures from the UK and overseas, as you are directed through the basics of genetics and genomics, onto genomics applied to healthcare, and finally, to O&G specific and subspeciality education. These resources are presented in an easy to digest format.
Structured, but self-guided, online learning is available through platforms such as Futurelearn. ‘The Genomics Era: the Future of Genetics in Medicine’ is a great foundation course about the growing role of genomics in healthcare for diagnosis, treatment and disease prevention. Run by a team at St George’s, University of London, the 5-week online course requires around 2 hours of study per week and is accessible for everyone.
Genomic Medicine Master’s framework
For those interested in a more formal educational path, or looking to gain skills as part of professional development or subspeciality training, HEE offers funding for its university-led genomic medicine programme for healthcare professionals in the UK. Students can opt to participate in individual 15-credit continued personal and professional development (CPPD) modules or combine modules to obtain a postgraduate certificate (60 credits), diploma (120 credits) or a full master’s qualification (180 credits).
These programmes are offered through several universities in the UK and are often completed on a part-time basis alongside clinical work. The courses aim to support learning and understanding of genomics and its application to clinical practice and medical research, as well as improve engagement with and education of students, colleagues, and patients.
Work is underway to develop a women’s health module to run within the Master’s framework for the academic year 2021/22. This will be aligned with principles and practical skills required for all staff working within O&G and will be available for completion as a standalone module or as part of one of the above qualifications. Funding is currently available for courses commencing September 2021.
HEE funding for the Genomic Medicine MSc is available at the following institutions:
Individuals need to apply directly to the institution, which will guide students to appropriate funding paperwork after successful application.
Virtual Prenatal Genetics Short Course 2021
This skills-based course is designed to give midwives and other health professionals working in a prenatal testing setting tools to help them to enable patients to access appropriate onwards referral.
These include obtaining a family history, identify high risk family histories, approaches to genetic testing, consent taking and counselling skills associated with providing information and results.