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Background: The use of pharmacogenomic testing in the clinical setting has the potential to improve the safety and effectiveness of drug therapy, yet studies have revealed that physicians lack knowledge about the topic of pharmacogenomics, and are not prepared to implement it in the clinical setting. This study further explores the pharmacogenomic knowledge deficit and educational resource needs among physicians.
Materials and methods: Surveys of primary care physicians, cardiologists, and psychiatrists were conducted.
Results: Few physicians reported familiarity with the topic of pharmacogenomics, but more reported confidence in their knowledge about the influence of genetics on drug therapy. Only a small minority had undergone formal training in pharmacogenomics, and a majority reported being unsure what type of pharmacogenomic tests were appropriate to order for the clinical situation. Respondents indicated that an ideal pharmacogenomic educational resource should be electronic and include such components as how to interpret pharmacogenomic test results, recommendations for prescribing, population subgroups most likely to be affected, and contact information for laboratories offering pharmacogenomic testing.
Conclusion: Physicians continue to demonstrate pharmacogenomic knowledge gaps, and are unsure about how to use pharmacogenomic testing in clinical practice. Educational resources that are clinically oriented and easily accessible are preferred by physicians, and may best support appropriate clinical implementation of pharmacogenomics.