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Genetics and Common Disorders: Implications for Primary Care and Public Health Providers

The American Medical Association is offering a copy of this program free to physicians and other health care professionals.  Limited quantities of this complimentary CD-ROM are available.  Please e-mail requests to srt@ama-assn.org and provide your name, shipping address, and a contact telephone number.

This informational program was developed by NCHPEG (National Coalition for Health Professional Education in Genetics) and is supported by the AMA, and is intended for physicians interested in the significant role of genetics in primary care and public health.  It focuses on the genetics of common disorders using broad genetic principles such as family history, and utilizes case studies of Thrombophilia and Colorectal Cancer to demonstrate the need for awareness of genetic factors in prediction and treatment of common disorders.  Review questions, a glossary, and online resources are also included on the CD-ROM.

The program consists of the following sections:

Introduction
Disorders commonly dealt with by primary care providers and public health officials, such as Heart Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, Cancer, Psychosocial Disorders, and Infectious Disease, have significant genetic components.  Increasing awareness of the genetic bases of common diseases and emerging genetic technologies make the understanding of genetics imperative for health care providers.

Principles of genetics in common disorders
Emphasizes the importance of genetics in common disorders, the role of environmental interaction, differences between single-gene and common disorders, genetics in the prediction of risk, and the role of genetics in race-based medicine.

Incorporating family history
Reviews the utility of a complete family history as a practical population-based tool for recognizing risk, identifying red flags, and devising treatment strategies for common diseases.  Also touches on the tips for collecting, the psychosocial issues surrounding, and interpretation of a family history.

Ethical, legal, and social issues
The rate of progress in genetics often exceeds the ability of social, political, legal, ethical, and economic systems to accommodate the challenges raised by genetics.  This section reviews some of the key ethical, social, and legal issues to consider when dealing with genetics in common disorders.

Genetics in prevention and management
Introduces the application of genomics to prevent, predict, and manage common disorders, and reviews the different types of genetic tests, their clinical validity, communication of genetic risk, challenges to educating the public, and the concepts of pharmacogenomics and personalized health.

Case studies
The cases of Thrombophilia and Colorectal Cancer are used to demonstrate the incorporation of genetic principles in taking a family history, assessing risk, prescribing medication, screening, and community education.

System recommendations
Macintosh:
PPC G3 233
32MB free RAM
12x (or higher) CD-ROM Drive
800x600 16bit video
OS 9.1 or later and OS 10.2 or later
Windows:
Pentium II 266
64MB RAM
12x (or higher) CD-ROM Drive
800x600 16bit video
Win 98/ME/XP or NT4/2000