This paper explores, mainly from the UK perspective, some of the issues relating to the current, and potential, impact of advances in genetics and molecular biology on the education and research training of healthcare professionals. We start by describing some of the expectations for progress in the use of genomic technologies and genetic data in healthcare delivery and the need for policy development to ensure timely translation of advances in science and technology into improved patient care. We review briefly the likely evolution of clinical genetics service provision to build the requisite scientific basis in primary care and explore how user needs could be addressed. Strategic issues for the future medical curriculum are introduced and linked with the concerns about the current status of clinical academic research. The issues for research training, career progression, nurturing of research 'at the bedside', definition of the research agenda and weaknesses in both academic infrastructure and support costs are reviewed in the context of the urgent imperative for medicine to harness the accelerating pace of progress in genomics.
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