Among the most revolutionary changes to how health care services are delivered to patients is personalized medicine, where diagnostic testing provides genetic, molecular and cellular information that guides medical decisions tailored to the individual patient. Knowing your genetic make-up helps determine which medications are likely to be most effective, and that can save patients and the health system considerable time and trouble.
These advancements – fuelled by a considerable amount of investment into health research – are moving us to a world where parents will take their newborn home from the hospital with a complete genome sequencing and a life care plan for that child. And with the cost of that genetic testing down to about $250 from $1,000 just a few years ago, what we in the education sector see is the need for more health professionals with a hybrid skill set to meet the increased demand.
Essentially, we’re designing new health professions as health research changes our diagnosis and treatment options.
At the Michener Institute, we have a research department that studies the science of learning so we can apply evidence-based decision making and best practices to curriculum development. This makes us unique in our ability to anticipate and prepare for the evolving labour force needs of the health system as health care practices and technology evolve.
For example, our last three graduating classes in genetics technology have all been cross-trained in genomic sequencing, and starting with the graduating classes of 2017, our Medical Laboratory Sciences graduates will be entering the workforce with this advanced knowledge. This means you, your family and the people you represent are receiving the double benefits of investing in research: improved health care options and treatments, and a health workforce qualified to deliver them.
Research is the foundation of all that we teach and do at Michener. Research and innovation are core to health professional practice and excellent patient care. I urge you to visualize that link between the research lab, our classrooms and the health professionals you rely on for diagnosis and treatment in our health system when you prioritize health research spending.
Maureen Adamson, President and CEO
The Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences