Precision Health: Precision Medicine Specialization

Precision Medicine

What is Precision Medicine?

Precision Medicine represents a new and disruptive approach to the way health care is delivered, with the “precision” of care and wellness actions that are tailored to the individual makeup of each person. A lynchpin of this field is the direct application of “big data” molecular biology and computational tools in the clinical context. The promise of embracing Precision Medicine (the scale of data production and the power of computational analytical tools) in Canada is to significantly improve the quality of care, the efficacy of prevention, and the economy of healthcare delivery. It is critical to ensure that there is an adequate population of frontline health professionals that are trained in its use, and in how those tools can guide clinical decision-making.

Courses

Students in the Precision Medicine Specialization must complete four courses (three units each).


Foundations of Precision Health (required)

A key element of Precision Health is the ability to critically appraise myriad types of data in order to facilitate better clinical decisions, health system improvements and clinical education delivery. Beginning with the essential statistical underpinnings of data analyses in health and related research, and demonstrating ways in which those analyses can be leveraged to improve decision making and health and education systems, this course will set students up to succeed in Precision Health specializations.

Ethics and Law of Precision Health (required)

Building upon the Foundations of Precision Health, is an in-depth study of legal, ethical, and regulatory concepts in precision health.

Omics Applications for Clinical Practice (required)

‘Omics’ technologies, such as genome and exome sequencing, have revolutionized the ways in which data can be collected on individual patients. The course provides an in-depth understanding of key technological platforms in the omics field and how to apply them in the clinical setting. Participants will learn the many ways in which their analyses can be utilized to guide clinical decision-making.

Pharmacogenomics (Option 1)

As one of the leading applications of Precision Medicine, pharmacogenomics has played a key role in improved targeting of pharmaceuticals to patients’ needs (providing the “right drug, to the right patient, at the right time, in the right dose”). In this course, students will learn the key aspects of pharmacogenomic nomenclature, the concept of “pheno-conversion” and its impact in the clinic, and will focus on key examples of both pharmacogenetic testing platforms as well as case studies for prescription decision-making.

Precision Oncology (Option 2)

Precision Medicine has seen broad application in the field on oncology, where the targeting and sequencing of tumour genomes has been utilized to boost clinicians’ ability to both assess and, in some instances, treat cancers. This course will focus on the major strategies for leveraging the tools of Precision Medicine in the field of oncology by examining how different types of DNA variants can be assessed, the ways in which computational analyses can be brought to bear, and finally will include discussion of targeted therapeutics, including immunotherapies, for treating individual cancer patients.

Artificial Intelligence Applications in Precision Health (Option 3)

Concepts and ideas in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning -- including statistical approaches, visualization, and human-computer interactions. Applications of AI techniques and software tools. This will primarily involve exploring recent examples of AI and Machine Learning tools being specifically used to aid in clinical practice.

Courses

Graduate Diploma courses are the same for all four specializations. Students must complete 4 courses (3 units each).


Health System Leadership

A critical examination of leadership development in the era of precision health as it relates to individual leadership practices, multi-disciplinary teams and the broader healthcare system. Exploration of new frameworks to facilitate collaborative decision making and effecting change. Students will use critical appraisal to identify the most relevant research and make evidence-based decisions to problem-solve around real issues in health systems.

Managing Complex Projects in Precision Health

Selection and application of the proper approaches for planning and executing complex innovative projects. Particular emphasis is placed on managing the innovative (novel and useful) ideas in a precision health context.

Elective 1 - Choose course from any specialization

Elective 2 - Choose course from any specialization

Courses

Students must complete four courses (three units each).


Advanced Precision Medicine

This advanced seminar course will cover recently published examples of Precision Medicine. Students will critically evaluate the subjects of discussion, creatively explore ways in which Precision Medicine studies and tools could be developed, and will focus on ways in which they can lead health system transformation such that the benefits of Precision Medicine are more widely realized for their patients.

Integrated Topics

Integration of theory, research, application and experience in the student’s area of sub-specialization. This course provides the student the opportunity to integrate theory and practice: to link the knowledge and skills derived from the Master of Precision Health program, published research articles, and their experiential learning opportunity. Students will participate in collaborative discussions regarding professional and ethical issues, Experiential Learning situations, research and how to apply theory to the practice of precision health in the student’s area of specialization.

Experiential Learning Opportunities - A & B (3 units each)

Precision Health Experiential Learning opportunities with professional supervision in student's area of specialization or interest. This course must be taken concurrently with the Integrated Topics course. This course is intended to offer practical and supervised opportunities to develop students’ existing precision medicine knowledge and skills to an advanced specialized level. The purpose of this course is to provide advanced level opportunities for development, integration, and experience through either a research project or internship to foster the acquisition of knowledge, and skills relevant to precision health. Together with the Integrated Topics course, the Experiential Learning Opportunity promotes integration of research, theory and practice.


FAQs

There are varying definitions of Precision Health and Precision Medicine, but for the purposes of this program the following definitions are used as guidelines:

Precision Health represents a new and disruptive approach to the way health care is delivered, with the precision of care and wellness actions that are tailored to the individual makeup of each person.

Precision Medicine is the direct application of “big data” molecular biology and computational tools in the clinical context.


Ready to Apply?

1. Create an eID

2. Create a Graduate Studies application

3. Complete the main UCalgary graduate programs questions in the application

4. Select Medicine – Precision Health Graduate Certificate