Our Educational Programs : MD/MS Program in Genomic Medicine

Program Details

Requirements for Completion of Master’s Degree Program in Genomic Medicine (MSGM)

  • Completion of 24 semester hours of course work. See Program of Study
  • Completion of 6 Capstone experience credits and portfolio
  • Presentation of Capstone portfolio


Master’s in Genomic Medicine (MSGM) coursework is concurrent with the UM Miller School of Medicine MD Program beginning in Spring semester of first year and ending upon completion of the MD program in the 4th year. In the first two years, each course is made up of self-guided online instruction and in-person small group work. Years 3 and 4 contain a clinical clerkship and a Capstone experience culminating in a portfolio and public presentation. In the first two years, online instruction is expected to require approximately 3 hours per week of time commitment. Small group work is an additional 3 hours of time per week that will be determined upon the MD program schedule for that semester.

Capstone Experience

Students will choose a mentor and complete a clinical or research project focusing on an aspect of genomic medicine. Additional components include genomic case reports and online journal club discussions. This experience will culminate in a written portfolio and public presentation of the Capstone experience.


Each course will assess attainment of learning objectives (below) through a combination of assigned homework, papers or projects, and examinations. The mastery of all core competencies will be assessed by two readers of the Capstone portfolio (the research mentor and one other program faculty member) and their evaluation of the oral presentation of that portfolio.

Mission and Learning Objectives

The MSGM curriculum is designed to provide mastery of the 18 Core Competencies in Genetics Essential for All Health Professionals as outlined by the National Coalition for Health Professional Education in Genetics (NCHPEG, 2007) plus additional competencies specifically directed towards genomic medicine and anticipated new opportunities that will become available during the course of training.


  • basic human genetics terminology
  • the basic patterns of biological inheritance and variation, both within families and within populations
  • how identification of disease-associated genetic variations facilitates development of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment options
  • the importance of family history (minimum three generations) in assessing predisposition to disease
  • the interaction of genetic, environmental, and behavioral factors in predisposition to disease, onset of disease, response to treatment, and maintenance of health
  • the difference between clinical diagnosis of disease and identification of genetic predisposition to disease (genetic variation is not strictly correlated with disease manifestation)
  • the various factors that influence the client’s ability to use genetic information and services, for example, ethnicity, culture, related health beliefs, ability to pay, and health literacy
  • the potential physical and/or psychosocial benefits, limitations, and risks of genetic information for individuals, family members, and communities
  • the resources available to assist clients seeking genetic information or services, including the types of genetics professionals available and their diverse responsibilities
  • the ethical, legal and social issues related to genetic testing and recording of genetic information (e.g., privacy, the potential for genetic discrimination in health insurance and employment)
  • one’s professional role in the referral to or provision of genetics services, and in follow-up for those services

Basic Genetic Skills

  • gather and use clinically genetic family history information, including at minimum a three-generation history
  • identify and refer clients who might benefit from genetic services or from consultation with other professionals for management of issues related to a genetic diagnosis
  • explain effectively the reasons for and benefits of genetic services
  • use information technology to obtain credible, current information about genetics
  • assure that the informed-consent process for genetic testing includes appropriate information about the potential risks, benefits, and limitations of the test in question

Genomic Skills

  • understand next-generation sequencing
  • understand basic bioinformatics and key terms important for clinical use
  • understand basic pharmacogenetics terms important for informed clinical use


  • appreciate the sensitivity of genetic information and the need for privacy and confidentiality
  • understand the added concerns brought forward by the availability of clinical high-throughput sequencing
  • appreciate the difference in cultural approaches to genetic information
  • seek coordination and collaboration with an interdisciplinary team of health professionals