Risks, Benefits and Validity of Genetic Tests

taught by Jeanette McCarthy, PhD

Course description

This course was developed for professionals working in the precision medicine space who want an understanding of how to critically evaluate genetic tests.

Who is this course for?

This course may have broad appeal to the following professionals:

  • Healthcare providers considering offering genetic testing to their patients
  • Healthcare organizations considering investing in wide-scale implementation of genetic testing
  • Insurance providers who evaluate genetic tests for coverage decisions
  • Government agencies who are making decisions about regulation of genetic tests 
  • Other professionals working in the field of precision medicine who want to understand how to evaluate genetic tests

What you'll learn 

In this brief course (total run time ~30 min) we'll explore the benefits and risk of genetic testing. You'll learn about benefits of genetic testing to individuals as well as healthcare institutions. We'll explore the ACCE framework used to evaluate genetic tests, as well as the current regulatory landscape. We'll discuss risks of genetic testing, as well as ways to mitigate those risks.

Our courses aim to minimize the jargon and teach precisely what is needed, and not more. If you're looking for a deep understanding of precision medicine, this isn't the course for you. If you want to be conversational in key topics, are currently working in a field that touches on precision medicine, ready to implement genetic testing in your medical practice, or simply want to understand the value and limits of available genetic tests, you're in the right place!

After taking this course, you should be able to do the following:

  • Articulate the various benefits of genetic testing to both patients and health care institutions
  • Distinguish between a test's analytical validity, clinical validity and clinical utility
  • Be familiar with the potential financial and psychological risks of genetic testing and their basis
  • Appreciate the importance of genetic privacy and autonomy
  • Understand the current regulatory landscape for genetic tests

The information provided through this course is for educational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient's medical condition.  

All materials are copyrighted. Republication or redistribution of PMA content is prohibited without prior written consent. PMA shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Jeanette McCarthy, PhD
Jeanette McCarthy, PhD
Founder, Precision Medicine Advisors and Adjunct Associate Professor, Duke University

Jeanette McCarthy has been a leading educator in the field of precision medicine for over a decade. She’s designed and delivered dozens of online courses and in-person workshops to healthcare providers, consumers, diagnostic companies, health IT companies, investors and others worldwide.

Dr. McCarthy spent the early part of her career as a molecular epidemiologist at Millennium Pharmaceuticals and in academia, and currently holds adjunct faculty positions at Duke University and the University of California - San Francisco (UCSF). She is the co-author of Precision Medicine: A Guide to Genomics in Clinical Practice, and served as editor-in-chief of Genome, the first magazine dedicated to educating consumers about the promise and challenges of genomic medicine.

Dr. McCarthy is the founder of Precision Medicine Advisors, which brings healthcare organizations, health care providers, diagnostic test developers, health IT companies, investors and others up to speed on the availability, value and limitations of genetic tests on the market and in development.

Reviews (9)

by risana mujafer

by Jose Caravedo

Excellent course

by Fátima Rodríguez Álvarez
It is an excellent course, I congratulate the creators and organizers
Read more

by risana mujafer

by Jose Caravedo

Excellent course

by Fátima Rodríguez Álvarez
It is an excellent course, I congratulate the creators and organizers

Great overview!

by Julie Reardon, MD
Nice job reviewing a challenging and evolving topic.

Basics to gene testing

by Julie Skelton
Good information, terminology recaps, and timely information. References mentioned in this coarse were very informative.

by Katherine Marcelain
Very clear and useful

by Staton Noel


by Pilar Carvallo
I heard and saw the video, and I found it excellent. It takes many issues that are not frequently discussed among physicians, for example to test for variants of low penetrance and take decisions on patients and their relatives. Very good explanation on the three types of validations!! Thank you

by Priti Vijayvargiya