Genetics handbook needs better promotion: experts
A HANDBOOK designed for GPs, explaining the current knowledge and application of genetic testing has been underutilised due to lack of promotion, experts say.
The resource, Genetics in Family Medicine: The Australian Handbook for General Practitioners was funded by Biotechnology Australia and launched at a Sydney RACGP conference in October 2007.
Developed by the Genetics Education in Medicine consortium, it was also published as a fold-out in Australian Family Physician.
Professor Ron Trent, director of the Department of Molecular & Clinical Genetics at Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, said: “It was targeted at GPs to improve and update their knowledge of genetics.”
However, he believed many GPs were unaware it even existed and said the college had not promoted it effectively.
“There’s a bit of disappointment that it was launched at one of the key GP conferences... but nothing much happened from there,” he said.
Associate Professor Kristine Barlow-Stewart, a key developer and director of the Centre for Genetics Education, NSW Health, agreed the handbook required more aggressive promotion.
“What this resource needs is workshops with GPs and training modules on how to use it.
“Just sending it out alone I don’t think is the most efficient way of doing that from an education point,” she said.
Responding to the criticism, Kate Hardiman, RACGP project manager of products and services, said the handbook would be promoted via links on the MyGeneralPractice and MyPracticeTeam portals.
The handbook, which covers counselling, testing and newborn screening, can be accessed at: www.gpgenetics.edu.au.
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