Finding experts in genomics can be challenging for both consumers and referring physicians. That’s because genetics has only been a recognized medical specialty since 1993, and there are fewer than 2,500 board-certified MD-geneticists in the country. Most practice in teaching hospitals, so that expertise is even more rare in the community hospital setting
Let’s say a patient has a lot of heart disease in his family history and seeks counseling on how to approach treatment to avoid cardiovascular problems. That patient would be best served by consulting with a cardiologist who is knowledgeable about cardiovascular genetics. Finding that physician could be difficult: there are no specific credentials that can validate a doctor's expertise in cardiovascular genetics. or ensure that his knowledge is up to date for rapidly evolving genomic tests.
El Camino Hospital is an industry leader in addressing this issue. The Genomic Medicine Institute has developed a comprehensive curriculum of study in genomics for its medical staff. Physicians will get the latest information on how genomic testing can help them better serve patients in their particular medical field.
At the end of the curriculum, interested physicians sit for a proficiency exam. Those who pass successfully will be included in a referral list. This provides an objective standard for El Camino Hospital, and assures consumers that these physicians are truly experts in this exciting and fast-paced field.
For more information about the curriculum and the proficiency process, contact the Genomic Medicine Institute at 650-962-4577.