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Front. Genet. | doi: 10.3389/fgene.2019.00712

Evidence based genetic education of non-genetic-expert physicians: Experiences three decades in Amsterdam

  • 1Department of Clinical Genetics, Medical Center, VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • 2Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands

To study and improve the competences of health care workers in the domain of genetics, attention needs to be paid to attitudes, activities, knowledge and changes in performance. Three decades of research on genetic education for non-genetic-experts in Amsterdam is summarized, including both local and international collaborative efforts. Evidence shows that assessment of learners’ needs, and the definition of competences has driven slow but gradual improvement in genetics competence among non-geneticists. Attitudes and behavior are mainly influenced by face-to-face training. eLearning modules can serve to increase knowledge in a large number of participants in a rapidly changing field. Materials developed for accredited courses will sometimes be used for reference or just in time learning. Taking a theoretically informed evaluation approach, it has been possible to demonstrate satisfaction, improved knowledge and self-reported behavioral change, although measuring effects on health care practice and population health remains challenging. A flexible approach is needed to serve learners’ needs in a field with many upcoming challenges.

Keywords: knowledge, Genetics, Genetic education, ELearning (web based learning/distance learning), competences, Curriculum, Continuing professional development (CPD)

Received: 01 Apr 2019; Accepted: 05 Jul 2019.

Edited by:

Michael Dougherty, School of Medicine, University of Colorado Denver, United States

Reviewed by:

Melissa Martyn, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Australia
Kate L. Dunlop, Centre for Genetics Education, NSW Health, Australia  

Copyright: © 2019 Cornel. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Martina C. Cornel, Department of Clinical Genetics, Medical Center, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, 1081 HV, Netherlands, Netherlands,