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General Overview of Genetics

Learning Objectives
1. Explain what a geneticist does
2. Describe (some of) the different types of genetic tests
3. Recognize common reasons for referring a patient to a genetics specialist
0.5 Credit CME
General Overview of Genetics

The unprecedented, rapid advances in genetic and genomic knowledge, information and technologies have made it challenging for primary care and other nongenetics health care providers to stay current on recommendations and practices in clinical genetics. To address this education gap for nongenetics providers and to foster the effective integration of those advances into the broad clinical practice of primary care and specialty health care providers, the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) has created a formal online accredited continuing education offering, “ACMG Genetics101 for Healthcare Providers.” In each module of the course, a board-certified medical genetics expert will provide a case-based presentation, along with supporting reading materials.

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American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) is a professional membership organization that provides education, resources and a voice for the medical genetics profession. Learn more.

Article Information

© 2022 American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics. All rights reserved.

Genetics101 for Healthcare Providers

Date of Release: 2/1/2022

Expiration Date: 2/1/2025

Credits offered: .5 per module

Estimate time of completion: 5 hours

Course/Module must be completed by the expiration date

This course is supported by an independent medical education grant from Illumina, Inc.

Target Audience: This course is primarily for the non-geneticist health care professional.


The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Credit Designation Statement: The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics designates this online enduring activity for a maximum of 0.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Accredited Continuing Education Financial Disclosure

The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide Accredited Continuing Education (ACE) for physicians. ACMG is an organization committed to improvement of patient care and general health by the incorporation of genetics and genomics into clinical practice.

ACMG has implemented the following procedures to ensure the independence of ACE activities from commercial influence/promotional bias, the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) requires that providers (ACMG) must be able to demonstrate that: 1) everyone in a position to control the content of an ACE activity has disclosed all financial relationships that they have had in the past 24 months with ineligible* companies; 2) ACMG has implemented a mechanism to mitigate relevant financial relationships; and 3) all relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies are disclosed to the learners before the beginning of the educational activity. The learners must also be informed if no relevant financial relationships exist.

*Ineligible companies are defined as those whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients.

ACMG Education Policies

Please review the policies below regarding the ACMG Education program

Financial Disclosures and Mitigation Procedure

ACMG Content Validation Policy

ACMG Content Branding Policy

Financial Support Disclosure Statement: The following course director, program planning committee members, speakers, and staff for this activity, have no financial relationships with ineligible companies relevant to the content of this course.

Ben Solomon, MD, FACMG

National Human Genome Research Institute [NHGRI]

National Institutes of Health [NIH]

Nothing to disclose

Content Contributors

Ben Solomon, MD, FACMG

Clinical Director, National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Dr. Solomon has a medical degree from Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. He completed medical training in pediatrics and clinical genetics through a joint Children's National/National Human Genome Research Institute program. After completing this program, Dr. Solomon remained at NHGRI for several years as a Staff Clinician; his work focused on understanding the causes and biology of a number of congenital disorders as well as applying emerging technologies and analytic approaches to genomic and phenotypic datasets in order to ask a variety of clinically-relevant research questions.

Dr. Solomon joined the Inova Translational Medicine Institute (ITMI) in 2013 as the Chief of the Division of Medical Genomics. In this role, Dr. Solomon led a team of clinicians, bioinformaticists, and bench-based scientists to deliver clinical care and conduct genomic research. In 2016, Dr. Solomon became the Managing Director of GeneDx, a genetics/genomics diagnostic company with a strong emphasis on research and the discovery of novel causes of disease. In this role, which he held until returning to NHGRI as Clinical Director in 2019, he led a team of over 400 molecular geneticists, genetic counselors, and laboratory and research staff. Throughout his entire career, he has always continued to be an avid participant in clinical genomics education, including formal and informal teaching of medical students, residents, fellows, postdoctoral and other trainees, as well as re-educating the existing clinical and scientific workforce about genomics. Additionally, since 2017, Dr. Solomon served as deputy editor-in-chief and then editor-in-chief for the American Journal of Medical Genetics. He has authored and co-authored more than 140 publications. His research interests involve determining the broad implications of human genomic health, including the development and application of high-throughput and novel related technologies to help predict health outcomes and study the causes and optimal management of both rare and common diseases; his research group at NHGRI especially focuses on the application of artificial intelligence to questions about medical genetics.

Peer Review

In December of 2021, this continuing medical education online enduring activity was reviewed by Drs. Shweta Dhar and Fuki Hisama. To ensure the continued scientific relevance of this enduring material, its content will be reviewed again prior to the expiry date.


ACMG educational programs are designed primarily as an educational tool for health care providers who wish to increase their understanding of the application of genomic technologies to patient care. The ACMG does not endorse or recommend the use of this educational program to make patient diagnoses, particular by individuals not trained in medical genetics. Adherence to the information provided in these programs does not necessarily ensure a successful diagnostic outcome. The program should not be considered inclusive of all proper procedures and or exclusive of other procedures and that are reasonably directed at obtaining the same results. In determining the propriety of any specific procedure or, a healthcare provider should apply his or her own professional judgment to the specific clinical circumstances presented by the individual patient or specimen.

Questions regarding CE credit should be directed to education@acmg.net


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