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Championing Precision Medicine Education for the Masses – Meet the Genome Educator


In this episode, Jeanette McCarthy, co-founder of Precision Medicine Advisors and genome educator, joins us to discuss the importance of educating everyone involved in precision medicine—including healthcare providers, payers, and even patients—about its day-to-day applications.

Using Education to Overcome Barriers in Implementing Precision Medicine - Jeanette McCarthy
Listen to the full episode above and download the full PDF transcript here.

Jeanette begins by discussing her work with Precision Medicine Advisors. She founded the company to fill the knowledge gap she perceived existed in precision medicine. Today, she hosts, webinars and hands-on workshops to help providers apply precision medicine within their practices.

One example of this educational outreach is her upcoming, all-day Precision Medicine Workshop on Saturday, March 16 (2019) in La Jolla, California at which she will discuss the top uses of precision medicine for primary care providers who may come across hereditary cancer, hereditary cardiovascular, and pharmacogenomics.


Jeanette and Precision Medicine Advisors also focus on educating all stakeholders—even those with no background in science—through free, half-hour courses in the Essential Precision Medicine Series that teaches the basic fundamentals of genomics to anyone with an interest. 


The discussion of the need for education led us to Jeanette’s book Precision Medicine, A Guide to Clinical Genomics, which she wrote with co-author Bryce Mendelson to simplify precision medicine for healthcare providers. She says, “If I were a physician and just wanted to learn the minimum, what is the basic stuff I need to know to practice this? That book was not out there.” This is why, Jeanette says, she focused the content on giving providers the basic genomic literacy and the skills to practice precision medicine.


We wondered what other major barriers Jeanette saw standing in the way of widespread use of genetic testing in clinical practice; barriers that might be overcome through education. Some of the main barriers she lists are:


  • Physicians do not always know what types of precision medicine tests are available, or how they can find information.

  • They also don't typically have any training in genetics, so they don't know first-hand how to interpret test results or communicate those results to their patients.


  • Genomic tests are generally expensive and not covered by insurance


Jeanette believes that when everyone has a better understanding of how precision medicine should be applied, many of these barriers will be more easily overcome.


Listen to the full episode above to hear more about how Jeanette is tackling precision medicine barriers through her range of education courses.

Download the full transcript here (pdf).


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About Our Guest

Jeanette McCarthy, MPH, PhD, is the founder of Precision Medicine Advisors.

is a UC Berkeley trained genetic epidemiologist and spent the early part of her career in industry at Millennium Pharmaceuticals before transitioning to academia. She currently holds adjunct faculty positions at Duke University and UCSF. Her previous research had focused on the genetic underpinnings of complex diseases, both infectious and chronic. 

She has become a leading educator in the field of genomic and precision medicine involved in demystifying genomics for non-technical audiences, including health care providers, patients and other stakeholders. In 2014 she helped launch the first consumer-facing magazine in this field, Genome, where she served as editor-in-chief until 2016.

She teaches genomic and precision medicine through UCSF and UC Berkeley Extension and online through Coursera and through the Precision Medicine Academy ( She also designs and delivers custom workshops and courses to international audiences and advises companies on strategic and technical aspects of precision medicine. Jeanette is coauthor of the new book, Precision Medicine: A Guide to Genomics in Clinical Practice (2016, McGraw Hill Education).

Precision Medicine Advisors:

Twitter: @Genomeducator

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