The Prospect of Genome-guided Preventive Medicine: A Need and Opportunity for Genetic Counselors
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One of the major anticipated benefits of genomic medicine is the area of preventive medicine. Commercially available genomic profiling is now able to generate risk information for a number of common conditions several of which have recognized preventive guidelines. Similarly, family history assessment affords powerful health risk prediction based on the shared genetic, physical and lifestyle environments within families. Thus, with the ability to help predict disease risk and enable preemptive health plans, genome-guided preventive medicine has the potential to improve population health on an individualized level. To realize this potential, steps to broaden access to accurate genomic health information must be considered. With expertise in genetic science, risk assessment and communication, and a patient-centered practice approach, genetic counselors are poised to play a critical role in facilitating the incorporation of genomic health risks into the burgeoning field of genome-guided preventive medicine.
KeywordsGenetic counseling Professional roles Genomic medicine Preventive medicine Personalized medicine Primary care Genome profiling
The author would like to thank her colleague, Dr. Allyn McConkie, for her thoughtful guidance in the preparation of this review. The author would also like to express her appreciation for the insightful commentary provided by Betsy Gettig.
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