An article recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine explores the inherent tension between public health and precision medicine as public health has worked to improve the health of populations and precision medicine seeks to improve the health of individuals via their unique genome. In “Precision” Public Health — Between Novelty and Hype, Merlin Chowkwanyun, Ronald Bayer, and Sandro Galea explore what precision medicine might mean for public health and ask:
What does a shift toward precision medicine mean for public health?
Will precision public health provide an opportunity reenvision and empower public health or is it an abandonment of public health’s core aim of enhancing health at a population level?
How will public health integrate individual genome specific data and interventions with its broader mission?
To learn more about these issues and other genetics topics, participate in the SMHS’s online Genetics Journal Club.