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Public Health Genetics: How Are We Preparing the Next Generation of Public Health Professionals?

Jacko, Anastasia (2021) Public Health Genetics: How Are We Preparing the Next Generation of Public Health Professionals? Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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Background: Since the Human Genome Project's completion in 2003, the need for increased population genetic literacy has grown exponentially. To address this, public health professionals must be educated appropriately to serve the public best. This study examines the current state of Public Health Genetics (PHG) education within existing Master of Public Health (MPH) programs.
Methods: 171 MPH Council on Education for Public Health Accreditation (CEPH)-accredited programs across the nation were identified via a preliminary internet search. The APHA American Public Health Association (APHA) Genomics Forum Policy Committee created 14 survey questions to assess the current status of incorporating genetics/genomics education within MPH programs. Using the Qualtrics survey system through the University of Pittsburgh, a link to the anonymous survey was sent to each director's email address obtained from each program's website.
Results: There were 41 survey responses, with 37 finished to completion for a response rate of 21.6% (37/171). 75.7% (28/37) of respondents reported having courses containing genetics/genomics information in their programs' coursework. Only 12.6% reported such coursework to be required for program completion. Commonly listed barriers to incorporating genetics/genomics include: limited faculty knowledge and lack of space in existing courses and programs.
Conclusions: Survey results revealed incongruous and limited incorporation of genetics/genomics within the context of graduate-level Public Health education. While most recorded programs report offering PHG coursework, the extent and requirement of such instruction are not considered necessary for program completion, thereby potentially limiting the genetic literacy of the current pool of public health professionals.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Jacko, Anastasiaanastasiajacko@gmail.comamj610000-0003-0936-8197
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairDurst, Andreaadurst@pitt.eduadurstUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberNiemchick, Karenniemchik@gvsu.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberPonte, Amyamy.h.ponte@gmail.comUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberBorety-Sam, Nestaneb60@pitt.eduneb60UNSPECIFIED
Date: 13 May 2021
Date Type: Completion
Submission Date: 9 May 2021
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 64
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Human Genetics
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Public Health Genetics Public Health Genomics
Date Deposited: 13 May 2021 17:25
Last Modified: 13 May 2023 05:15

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