Jeanette McCarthyJeanette McCarthy, MPH, PhD is a UC Berkeley trained genetic epidemiologist and leading educator in the field of precision medicine. She currently holds adjunct faculty positions at Duke University and UCSF. She specializes in communicating genome science to non-technical audiences, including health care providers, patients and other stakeholders. She teaches genomic and precision medicine at UCSF and UC Berkeley Extension, as well as online. She also designs and delivers custom workshops, symposia and webinars through her consulting business, precisionmedicineadvisors.com. Dr. McCarthy is coauthor of the forthcoming book, Precision Medicine: A Guide to Genomics in Clinical Practice (coming January 2017 from McGraw Hill).

Bryce MendelsohnBryce Mendelsohn, MD, PhD is a practicing physician board certified in pediatrics. He recently completed a residency in medical genetics at UCSF, a top research institution in the US, where he has continued as an Assistant Professor in the division of Medical Genetics. Additionally, he has a PhD in genetics. He is on the front line of medical care for those with traditionally defined genetic diseases. Dr. Mendelsohn teaches genomic and precision medicine at UCSF and through Coursera and is coauthor of the forthcoming book, Precision Medicine: A Guide to Genomics in Clinical Practice (coming January 2017 from McGraw Hill).

A Complete How-To Guide for Incorporating Genomics into All Applicable Areas of Clinical Medicine

medical books 2017Precision Medicine: A Guide to Genomics in Clinical Practice is a comprehensive, yet succinct overview of the practice of genomic medicine. It is written for general healthcare practitioners, specialists, and trainees with the goal of providing detailed guidance on how to incorporate genomic medicine into daily practice.  To be as clinically relevant as possible, the book intentionally avoids excessive technical content and consistently emphasizes real-life patient care and decision support.

Precision Medicine: A Guide to Genomics in Clinical Practice follows the course of a human life, beginning before conception through pregnancy, childhood, and adulthood, discussing the current and future applications of genomics and precision medicine at each stage. This organization allows healthcare providers to easily find the information relevant to their practice. Throughout, the authors highlight common pitfalls – technical and ethical – that might complicate the delivery of quality genomic healthcare. The book is enhanced by eleven valuable appendices that cover important topics ranging from the basics of genetics to ethical issues to regulation and reimbursement. If you are searching for a clinically relevant, non-technical resource that will teach you how genomic medicine can and should be practiced in your specific field of interest, Precision Medicine: A Guide to Genomics in Clinical Practice belongs on your desk.

What is your attitude to GMO?

I don’t have a problem with GMO. It would be prudent to continue to study GMO foods and other products, but humans have been breeding plants and animals to our benefit for eons. GMOs may be a way to feed more people with less pesticides use and taking less land for agriculture. There’s more evidence that pesticides are hazardous to health than most GMOs, and habitat destruction to make way for farms is worse for many species than GMOs.

How far do you think is ethical for science to go into human genetics?

There are matters of technology, and then there is how we use the technology. I would be hesitant to limit technology because we never know how a new skill or knowledge might be helpful. Technologies that move beyond health and into the realm of eugenics, trying to make people “better” instead of healthier, should be pursued with caution. These concerns are for the future, though. Today’s predominant ethical violations in the realm of genetics have to do with equality. Individuals with resources get advanced testing and treatments while those without are left to chance.

What do you see to be the biggest problem of healthcare in 21 century?

The challenge will be to offer the best technology, but also offer it to everyone. In the United States we ration healthcare like we ration luxury cars. Other countries have equality in healthcare but lag behind in making new technologies available. Research and development have simply outpaced the ability of societies to deliver innovation both quickly and equally. At some point societies will become so unequal (like in the US) or so far behind the cutting edge (like some countries with socialized medicine) that the economics of innovation will collapse. Then we will have a problem.

What has brought you to medicine?

It’s wonderful to be able to help others using technology and skills developed over many years. It’s not always that one can combine altruism with ambition and achieve both.

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