Genetics is playing an increasingly important role in the diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of diseases, and the expansion of genetics into health care has generated the field of genomic medicine. Health care delivery is shifting away from general diagnostic evaluation toward a generation of therapeutics based on a patient's genetic makeup. Meanwhile, the scientific community debates how best to incorporate genetics and genomic medicine into practice. While obstacles remain, the ultimate goal is to use information generated from the study of human genetics to improve disease treatment, cure and prevention. As the use of genetics in medical diagnosis and treatment increases, health care workers will require an understanding of genetics and genomic medicine.