Improving medical students’ knowledge of genetic disease: A review of current and emerging pedagogical practices

Michael J. Wolyniak, Lynne T. Bemis, Amy J. Prunuske

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Genetics is an essential subject to be mastered by health professional students of all types. However, technological advances in genomics and recent pedagogical research have changed the way in which many medical training programs teach genetics to their students. These advances favor a more experience-based education focused primarily on developing student’s critical thinking skills. In this review, we examine the current state of genetics education at both the preclinical and clinical levels and the ways in which medical and pedagogical research have guided reforms to current and emerging teaching practices in genetics. We discover exciting trends taking place in which genetics is integrated with other scientific disciplines both horizon-tally and vertically across medical curricula to emphasize training in scientific critical thinking skills among students via the evaluation of clinical evidence and consultation of online databases. These trends will produce future health professionals with the skills and confidence necessary to embrace the new tools of medical practice that have emerged from scientific advances in genetics, genomics, and bioinformatics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)597-607
Number of pages11
JournalAdvances in Medical Education and Practice
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Wolyniak et al.


  • Active learning
  • Genetics education
  • Medical genetics
  • Pedagogical practice
  • Problem-based learning


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