To biomedical researchers, this is the 'genome era'. Advances in genetics and genomics such as the sequence of the human genome, the human haplotype map, open access databases, cheaper genotyping and chemical genomics have already transformed basic and translational biomedical research. However, for most clinicians, the genome era has not yet arrived. For genomics to have an effect on clinical practice that is comparable to its impact on research will require advances in the genomic literacy of health-care providers. Here we describe the knowledge, skills and attitudes that genomic medicine will require, and approaches to integrate them into the health-care community.