Joint pain

September 2010


Genetics and genomics in general practice

Volume 39, No.9, September 2010 Pages 689-691

Siaw-Teng Liaw


The translation of molecular medicine into clinical practice has implications for general practice and personalised medicine.


This article outlines requirements for general practice to make optimal use of genomics.


Genomics identifies variations in many genes, enhancing knowledge of gene-gene and gene-environment interactions. Unlike personal information, genomic information raises issues of privacy, potential family trauma and discrimination by employers and insurers. To embed genomics safely and effectively into practice, general practitioners need information, competencies and support through regulation, policy, information management, professional decision support, patient self management, community engagement and educational activities.

Genomics can enhance the professional role of the general practitioner. A GP can provide ongoing, personalised, coordinated and comprehensive care to patients1 as a custodian of confidential information in an environment of trust, and as a professional assisting the patient to make important decisions for their health.

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