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A National Curriculum in Cancer Genomics for Pathology Residents

Richard L Haspel

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National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Genomic medicine is revolutionizing care of the cancer patient. Next-generation and whole-genome sequencing techniques have allowed molecular prognostic stratification of patients, genotype-guided therapy and discovery of novel drug targets. Pathologists play a key role in cancer care through diagnosis of malignancy and provision of accurate, precise and validated molecular testing. As such, pathologists must understand the application of genomic medicine to oncology. Data from studies of genetics education in medical school as well as a survey of residency directors demonstrates that pathologists, similar to almost all health professionals, are not prepared for the genomic medicine era. Building on the work of a national committee dedicated to developing a pathology resident curriculum in genomic medicine including cancer genomics, the following specific aims will be accomplished: develop a pathology resident genomic medicine curriculum, with a major focus on cancer care, as well as tools for national implementation; evaluate the curriculum using a pre/post-test design at four pathology residency programs using validated assessment tools; promote curriculum implementation using the resources of major national pathology organizations so that >90% of pathology residency programs nationwide have high-quality training in cancer genomics by the end of the grant funding period; and assess the degree of nationwide implementation and efficacy of pathology curricula in genomic medicine using the pathology resident in-service exam (RISE).

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