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PLoS One. 2013 Jul 23;8(7):e68853. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0068853. Print 2013.

Evidence that personal genome testing enhances student learning in a course on genomics and personalized medicine.

Author information

1
Department of Genetics, Stanford University, Stanford, California, United States of America. ksalari@partners.org

Abstract

An emerging debate in academic medical centers is not about the need for providing trainees with fundamental education on genomics, but rather the most effective educational models that should be deployed. At Stanford School of Medicine, a novel hands-on genomics course was developed in 2010 that provided students the option to undergo personal genome testing as part of the course curriculum. We hypothesized that use of personal genome testing in the classroom would enhance the learning experience of students. No data currently exist on how such methods impact student learning; thus, we surveyed students before and after the course to determine its impact. We analyzed responses using paired statistics from the 31 medical and graduate students who completed both pre-course and post-course surveys. Participants were stratified by those who did (N = 23) or did not (N = 8) undergo personal genome testing. In reflecting on the experience, 83% of students who underwent testing stated that they were pleased with their decision compared to 12.5% of students who decided against testing (P = 0.00058). Seventy percent of those who underwent personal genome testing self-reported a better understanding of human genetics on the basis of having undergone testing. Further, students who underwent personal genome testing demonstrated an average 31% increase in pre- to post-course scores on knowledge questions (P = 3.5×10(-6)); this was significantly higher (P = 0.003) than students who did not undergo testing, who showed a non-significant improvement. Undergoing personal genome testing and using personal genotype data in the classroom enhanced students' self-reported and assessed knowledge of genomics, and did not appear to cause significant anxiety. At least for self-selected students, the incorporation of personal genome testing can be an effective educational tool to teach important concepts of clinical genomic testing.

PMID:
23935898
PMCID:
PMC3720862
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0068853
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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