Background: It is increasingly important that physicians have a thorough understanding of the basic science of human genetics and the ethical, legal and social implications (ELSI) associated with genetic testing and counseling.
Methods: The authors developed a series of web-based courses for medical students on these topics. The course modules are interactive, emphasize clinical case studies, and can easily be incorporated into existing medical school curricula.
Results: Results of a ‘real world’ effectiveness trial indicate that the courses have a statistically significant effect on knowledge, attitude, intended behavior and self-efficacy related to genetic testing (p<0.001; N varies between 163 and 596 for each course).
Conclusions: The results indicate that this curriculum is an effective tool for educating medical students on the ELSI associated with genetic testing and for promoting positive changes in students’ confidence, counseling attitudes and behaviors.