Author ORCID Identifier

Dario Ghersi

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

BMC Medical Genomics


9, Article number: 23


A new paradigm in disease classification, diagnosis and treatment is rapidly approaching. Known as precision medicine, this new healthcare model incorporates and integrates genetic information, microbiome data, and information on patients’ environment and lifestyle to better identify and classify disease processes, and to provide custom-tailored therapeutic solutions. In spite of its promises, precision medicine faces several challenges that need to be overcome to successfully implement this new healthcare model. In this paper we identify four main areas that require attention: data, tools and systems, regulations, and people. While there are important ongoing efforts for addressing the first three areas, we argue that the human factor needs to be taken into consideration as well. In particular, we discuss several studies that show how primary care physicians and clinicians in general feel underequipped to interpret genetic tests and direct-to-consumer genomic tests. Considering the importance of genetic information for precision medicine applications, this is a pressing issue that needs to be addressed. To increase the number of professionals with the necessary expertise to correctly interpret the genomics profiles of their patients, we propose several strategies that involve medical curriculum reforms, specialist training, and ongoing physician training.


© 2016 McGrath and Ghersi.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.