Precision Medicine Still Waits for the “Aha” Moment

June 22, 2015
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personalized_medicineThe precision medicine market is growing fast. But for some leading doctors, not fast enough. That’s the view of Dr.

personalized_medicineThe precision medicine market is growing fast. But for some leading doctors, not fast enough. That’s the view of Dr. Eric Topol, one of the premier thought leaders in medicine and a true believer in the potential of precision medicine to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs.

In a recent article in MedCity News, Dr. Topol expresses his frustration that recent advances in genomics and precision medicine have not been embraced by the medical community as quickly as they should. According to Dr. Topol, one of the main reasons for this is the fact that “when physicians were trained, modern-day genomics was not part of the curriculum.” “I’m sad to say, it’s still not part of the curriculum – but it’s starting to pick up.”

I think this hits the nail on the head. Doctors are people. And most of us tend to stick with what we know. Few of us like to operate outside of our comfort zone. If physicians were not exposed to genomics and precision medicine during their medical training, getting them to embrace it wholeheartedly in clinical practice is going to be challenging. 

Fortunately, advances in diagnostics, genomics and targeted therapies continue, and there are enough early adopters out there to create the momentum needed to make precision medicine an integral part of clinical practice–eventually. Oncology is the real frontier for genomics and diagnostics right now, but other areas are following, including cardiovascular medicine and endocrinology. 

Are there obstacles to widespread adoption for personalized medicine? Absolutely. Knowledge gaps in the medical community, cost, reimbursement and access to  technology are just a few. But I believe the potential that it holds is just too compelling for it not to succeed. And it’s great to see such a strong advocate as Dr. Topol supporting this view. You can check out the MedCity News article here.