6 July 2012
Authors: Dr Hilary Burton, Dr Trevor Cole and Professor Peter Farndon
In the last two decades developments in the science of genetics and enormous advances in genetic technologies have altered the capability to understand diseases, make diagnoses and provide effective management.
For clinical researchers and clinical geneticists at the forefront of management of patients with inherited disease, such progress has been transformative. What is less clear is the impact that genetics and genomics has had, and will shortly have, on the practice of medicine throughout other areas of clinical practice and how services can develop to take best advantage to improve health outcomes.
The report Genomics in Medicine has its origins in work presented to the Joint Committee of Medical Genetics in 2011 in which the service implications of genetics within the specialties of cardiology and ophthalmology were considered in detail and outline conclusions on the strategic implications for clinical services as a whole were drawn. The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) responded by asking the Joint Committee on Medical Genetics to hold a workshop including a wide range of other clinical specialities to reflect on these findings within their own service areas, to consider the wider health service environment and to make recommendations for action. The report includes findings from the workshop held in June 2011 and provides key recommendations for the College.