Personalised Medicine: Hope or Hype?
Prevention and treatment designed for the individual, rather than the collective
- Offered to 2nd Year students in Autumn or Spring term
- Mondays 16:00-18:00
- Planned delivery: On campus (South Kensington) & Online
- 1-term module worth 5 ECTS
- Available to eligible students as part of I-Explore
Personalised medicine is about bespoke treatments for individual patients or certain categories of patients, with a strong emphasis on prevention before the onset of disease. This module will familiarise you with the cutting-edge advances in several STEMM disciplines that have contributed to the growth of personalised medicine, engaging with its pros and cons from the standpoint of different groups, political standpoints and cultural sensitivities.
You will learn how to evaluate claims in favour of personalised medicine from the viewpoint of your preferred discipline and to critique the potential use of personalised medicine as preventive medicine. The module also explores the socio- economic, cultural and legal implications of personalised medicine and you will be able to analyse risks and benefits of the introduction or extension of personalised medicine in the context of any healthcare provision/settings.
By the end of this module, you will better be able to:
- Evaluate the claims produced in favour of personalised medicine through the lens of your preferred discipline
- Critique the potential use of personalised medicine as preventive medicine, including lifestyle choices and its consequent ethical implications
- Discuss and contrast the socio-economic, cultural and legal implications of personalised medicine in different countries
- Work as part of a multi-disciplinary team, exchanging constructive peer feedback, to communicate about personalised medicine
- Propose a framework analysing risk vs benefit for the introduction or extension of personalised medicine, in the context of healthcare provision in your chosen country
Indicative core content
No specialist medical knowledge will be required as a pre-requisite. The content of the module will be delivered using scenario-based learning. Throughout the module your learning will revolve around case scenarios: a) a patient diagnosed with a serious condition b) a healthy individual carrying a gene variant that might develop into a serious condition c) a member of the seemingly healthy population. You will unpack the complexity of personalised medicine by evaluating and integrating information from across disciplines like the data revolution, AI, genetics, pharmacology and bioinformatics and learn how knowledge from different fields can be brought together to solve a real-world problem and transform traditional healthcare management-strategies. Using the scenarios, you will also explore the psychological and ethical implications on patients and society; financial and regulatory implications for the drug industry/insurance-sector/healthcare providers. By the end of the module, you will articulate your own stand-point on personalised medicine and be empowered to make informed decisions regarding the use of personalised medicine for self or others.
Learning and teaching approach
Sessions will be delivered using ‘flipped classroom approach’, where structured content will be delivered using an online platform. Learning will include:
- An online discussion forum
- Live online sessions with experts
Feedback will be provided throughout the module and verbal/group feedback will be provided for formative tasks by the tutor and/or peers. Following the summative assessment, you will be provided with a written summary of the feedback and a final grade within about 10 working days.
- Reflective writing (individual) (30%)
- Group presentation (70%)
- Requirements: It is compulsory to take an I-Explore module during your degree (you’ll take an I-Explore module in either your 2nd or 3rd year, depending on your department). You are expected to attend all classes and undertake approximately 105 hours of independent study in total during the module. Independent study includes for example reading and preparation for classes, researching and writing coursework assignments, project work and preparing for other assessments
- I-Explore modules are worth 5 ECTS credit towards your degree; to receive these you will have to pass the module. The numerical mark that you obtain will not be included in the calculation of your final degree result, but it will appear on your transcript
- This module is designed as an undergraduate Level 6 course
- This module is offered by the Faculty of Medicine