Assessment of the pharmacogenomics educational environment in Southeast Europe

Public Health Genomics. 2014;17(5-6):272-9. doi: 10.1159/000366461. Epub 2014 Oct 17.


Background/aims: Pharmacogenomics aims to use the information derived from an individual's genomic profile in the context of individualizing medical treatment modalities. However, currently, pharmacogenomics education is not uniformly provided to health care professionals. This study investigates the status of pharmacogenomics education in Southeast Europe.

Methods: University websites served as information sources in order to investigate the discrepancies in pharmacogenomics education in Southeast Europe. In parallel, a survey was conducted at the University of Cagliari (Italy) to test pharmacogenomics knowledge and understanding among specialists, residents and undergraduate students.

Results: Our study shows that pharmacogenomics knowledge is not uniformly spread in universities in Southeast Europe and provides the basis for the harmonization of pharmacogenomics education that would directly impact on a smoother integration of pharmacogenomics into mainstream medical practice. Also, a considerable gap in pharmacogenomics education was obvious between the group of specialists and the groups of residents and undergraduate students.

Conclusions: Pharmacogenomics education as well as the continuous enrichment of pharmacogenomics knowledge for health care professionals are fundamental approaches toward personalized medicine. Ideally, pharmacogenomics should be taught as a stand-alone course or at least in the context of genetics courses that already exist in universities in Southeast Europe.

MeSH terms

  • Data Collection
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Education, Medical / statistics & numerical data*
  • Europe
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Pharmacogenetics / education*
  • Physicians
  • Precision Medicine / methods
  • Universities