Shire and ACMG Partner to Support Medical Geneticist Training
From - National Intelligence Report "As a result of advances in the area of genetic and genomic research and diagnostic testing, it is anticipated that the need for… . . . read more
By Kelly A. Briganti, Editorial Director, G2 Intelligence
“As a result of advances in the area of genetic and genomic research and diagnostic testing, it is anticipated that the need for medical geneticists will grow considerably,” according to the National Human Research Institute’s website www.genome.gov. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, concurs, noting in its Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Genetic Counselors, that “[o]ngoing technological innovations, including improvements in lab tests and developments in genomics … are giving counselors the opportunities to conduct more types of analyses.” The BLS predicts employment of genetic counselors will increase 29 percent between 2014 and 2024—but given the size of the occupation, that means “about 700 new jobs” during that period.
With that need for geneticists in mind, Shire has committed $1.65 million to support the ACMG Foundation for Genetic and Genomic Medicine training programs for medical geneticists during the next three years. “The partnership between Shire and the ACMG Foundation will help foster a generation of geneticists around the world who will play crucial roles in the diagnosis and care of patients with rare and common diseases,” according to an ACMG Foundation statement. The funds will be used for 10 one- to two-year training fellowships for medical geneticists “We have reached a critical juncture in terms of the integration of medical genetics into health care,” said ACMG Foundation Executive Director, Michael S. Watson, PhD, FACMG. “Though geneticists are essential to the diagnosis and management of rare diseases and for the care of individuals with genetic conditions, we are faced with a significant deficit in the number of laboratory and clinical geneticists in the United States.”
BLS explains that geneticists provide patients and referring physicians with consultation reports on “complex genomic concepts,” evaluate lab tests and use the results to counsel patients and advise other health care providers, and help patients and family members understand genetic risks and inherited conditions. Geneticists also help patients and providers understand genetic testing options as well as the risks, benefits and limitations of such testing.
A Feb. 24, 2016 G2 Intelligence webinar, will address utilization management of genetic tests, providing insight from two geneticists, Cheryl Hess, MS, CGC, and Jessie Conta, MS, LCGC. For more information and to register for the webinar, Genetic Test Utilization Management: Practical Strategies for achieving efficiency, cost savings and appropriate test selection, click here.
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