What Do Students in Pharmacy and Medicine Think About Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine Education? Awareness, Attitudes, and Perceptions in Malaysian Health Sciences

OMICS. 2021 Jan;25(1):52-59. doi: 10.1089/omi.2020.0178. Epub 2020 Nov 10.


This study reports on the attitudes and perceptions toward pharmacogenomics (PGx) and personalized medicine (PM) education among pharmacy and medical students in Malaysian health sciences. Importantly, the survey was developed through a codesign approach, with field pretesting/design with users before the actual survey, and based on collaboration between institutions in Greece and Malaysia. The study addressed eight key areas of interest to education in health sciences: (1) General awareness about genetics and PGx, (2) Attitude toward genetic testing usefulness, (3) Benefits of direct-to-consumer personal genome testing as a "diagnostic" tool, (4) Concerns (risks) about genetics, (5) Effectiveness of genetic testing in PM, (6) Benefits of PGx on disease management, (7) Benefits of PGx on drug management, and (8) Attitudes toward genetic testing public endorsement. We observed that Malaysian students appear aware of the term PGx, but there are areas of critical knowledge gap such as the need for greater familiarity with the concept of PGx implementation science, and the availability of genetic testing in clinical practice. This is one of the first studies on perceptions and attitudes toward PGx testing in Southeast Asia. The present findings provide a map of the views and perspectives of medicine and pharmacy students regarding PGx and implementation of PM in Malaysia and should assist toward facilitating the integration of genomics into the medical decision-making process. To this end, it is necessary to enhance collaboration between universities, health care institutions, and governing bodies to incorporate further training and additional education topics related to PGx and genetic testing. This is the first study that assesses the level of PGx and genomics knowledge of pharmacy and medicine students in Southeast Asia, Malaysia in particular, and thus paves the way to guide future global PGx implementation science.

Keywords: attitudes; codesign; genetic tests; implementation science; medical decision making; personalized medicine; pharmacogenomics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Clinical Decision-Making
  • Disease Management
  • Education, Medical*
  • Genetic Testing
  • Genomics / methods
  • Humans
  • Perception*
  • Pharmacogenetics* / education
  • Precision Medicine*
  • Students, Medical* / psychology
  • Students, Medical* / statistics & numerical data
  • Students, Pharmacy* / psychology
  • Students, Pharmacy* / statistics & numerical data