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“The growth in genomic testing in healthcare requires a highly trained specialist workforce to ensure evidence based clinical germline variant interpretation. Genetic counselors form a core part of the clinical genomics multidisciplinary team (MDT) and represent a growing workforce participating in variant interpretation from data analysis to the patient consultation. Standardized, high-quality variant interpretation training for Genetic Counselors has historically been ad hoc and variable, with existing programs lacking capacity to reach the entire workforce. To address the requirement for scalable variant interpretation training for genomics healthcare professionals (HCPs), two Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) were developed. We analyzed the data from 17 Genetic counselors, as part of an evaluation cohort completing the first run of these MOOCs. Overall genetic counselors enjoyed the courses, felt they were clinically relevant and would recommend them to colleagues. Common challenges amongst the genetic counseling workforces included utilizing relevant databases and finding time in the workday to complete training. These findings suggest MOOCs could be an acceptable option to ensure a consistent and transferrable high standard of training, complimentary to existing curricula. They also hold the potential to facilitate large-scale education to update the genetic counseling workforce when changes in variant interpretation guidance occur.”

This abstract is from the Genomics Education Programme-affiliated manuscript published in November 2023 in the academic journal Journal of Genetic Counselling. The full article can be obtained either via the sidebar’s Document Download, or via visiting the hosting journal’s webpage at: https://doi.org/10.1002/jgc4.1837


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First published

27th October 2023

Page updated

2nd May 2024

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Manuscript: Massive open online courses (MOOCs) in genomic variant interpretation […] [PDF, 668 KB]