In partnership with colleges and universities in the region, Sanford Imagenetics is developing new academic programs to train the next generation of doctors, nurses and scientists in genomic medicine.
We’re enhancing genomic education for medical students and residents in internal medicine, graduate programs in genetic counseling and bioinformatics, certificates in genetic and genomic nursing and through fellowship programs in clinical genetics, clinical cytogenetics and clinical molecular genetics.
The proposed program in genomic medicine gives our internal medicine residency program the opportunity to become recognized for its emphasis on genomic determinants of adult disease.
This training would not only help train our own physician workforce across the enterprise, it would become a defining characteristic of the program, allowing it to be differentiated from competing training programs.
In collaboration with local academic institutions, Sanford will be in a unique position to train postdoctoral MD and PhD fellows in clinical genetics, clinical cytogenetics and clinical molecular genetics. Such a comprehensive training program will be unique in the Midwest.
Several academic institutions across the Sanford Health geographic footprint, both public and private, have a longstanding history of partnering in research and education.
In 2014, Sanford partnered up with Augustana College in Sioux Falls to focus on the development of the College’s new master’s degree program in Genetic Counseling. The program will begin enrolling students in the fall of 2016.
Quinn Stein, a certified genetic counselor, is the associate professor and director of the program. Prior to joining Augustana, Stein most recently served as a genetic counselor at Sanford Health. Sanford’s focus on bringing genomic medicine into primary care would be a unique draw unlike other existing graduate programs.
The explosion of raw data obtained from clinical sequencing will require an increasing number of skilled bioinformaticians to organize and interpret the clinical significance of sequence variations and mutations.
Sanford’s academic partners are excited to explore undergraduate and graduate programs in bioinformatics. Sanford can assist by providing practical experiences and research opportunities for enrolled students.
Even with the development of additional capacity to train genetic counselors, there will be an insufficient number of trained clinical staff in the foreseeable future to explain and counsel patients about the clinical significance of genetic testing. This gap can be filled by nurses with additional focused training on genetics and genomics.
Local academic institutions have interest in developing this certificate, which would be earned through a prescribed series of courses and clinical experiences taught in conjunction with Sanford Health.