Pharmacogenetics education in British medical schools

Jenny E. Higgs, Julie Andrews, David Gurwitz, Katherine Payne, William Newman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pharmacogenetic tests allow medications to be tailored to individual patients to improve efficacy and reduce drug toxicity. In 2005, the International Society of Pharmacogenomics (ISP) made recommendations for undergraduate medical teaching in pharmacogenetics. We aimed to establish the quantity and scope of this in British medical schools. An electronic survey was sent to all British medical schools. Nineteen out of 34 (56%) medical schools responded. Sixteen of the 19 (84%) respondents provided pharmacogenetics teaching, usually 1-2 h in total. Only four (21%) medical schools offered the four or more hours of teaching recommended by the ISP. However, 10 of 16 (63%) schools felt the amount of pharmacogenetic teaching offered was sufficient. The quantity of undergraduate teaching of pharmacogenetics is low. However, a majority of UK medical schools teach it, covering a broad scope of elements. It is encouraging that future clinicians are being provided with the knowledge to deliver pharmacogenetics into clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-105
Number of pages5
JournalGenomic Medicine
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Dec 2008


  • Education
  • Medical schools
  • Pharmacogenetics
  • Pharmacogenomics
  • Survey
  • Teaching


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