A DMS professor is leading the way in using computer technology for medical education with a pioneering virtual clinic to teach "Genetics in Clinical Practice." Joseph V. Henderson, MD, a professor of community and family medicine who heads Dartmouth Medical Schools Interactive Media Lab (IML), created a "virtual practicum in genetics" using state-of-the-art interactive multimedia and world leaders in genetics research to foster more effective continuing medical education at DMS.
Hendersons core goal was to help non-geneticists (primarily third-year medical students and residents) use genetic testing and services appropriately by improving their understanding of the process. Another mission was to help generalists, specialists and laboratory professionals form an integrated patient care team. "This virtual course shows how the testing is done, how to counsel patients, how to understand the test results," Henderson explains.
The result of a three-year project, this program takes place in a virtual genetics clinic, where the learner can participate in a "virtual mini-fellowship" with a master clinician/master teacher. By addressing three central topics: 1) genetics in clinical practice, 2) working with genetics labs and lab workers and 3) working with genetic counselors, Hendersons group was able to provide users of the practicum access to genetics experts and patient simulations that form the backbone of training.
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