A Delphi consensus exercise to determine a genetics and genomics curriculum for primary medical degree in Aotearoa New Zealand


  • Diane Kenwright University of Otago, New Zealand
  • Nisal Kuruppu University of Otago, New Zealand
  • Jon Cornwall University of Otago, New Zealand
  • Cristin Print University of Auckland, New Zealand
  • Thierry Lindt University of Auckland, New Zealand
  • Rebecca Grainger University of Otago, New Zealand https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9201-8678
  • Michelle Thunders University of Otago, New Zealand




genetics, genomics, education, medical curriculum, indigenous peoples


Introduction: Genetics and genomics are of increasing importance in diagnosis and treatment of patients. We aimed to determine relevant genetics and genomics curricular content and learning objectives for contemporary New Zealand medical graduates.

Methods: International and national undergraduate medical genetics curricula were identified and learning outcomes collated. Invited New Zealand subject experts (n = 58) contributed further learning objectives, with final pool of 73 learning objectives. A survey-based, two-round Delphi process was used to gain consensus on the level of learning for each learning objective. Learning outcomes with consensus for learning greater than “in some depth” or “in detail” were included in the proposed curriculum.

Results: The response rate for the Delphi rounds were 41% (n = 24/58) and 29% (n = 17/58) for Rounds 1 and 2, respectively. Experts reached consensus on retaining 58/60 (97%) of proposed learning objectives that were to be learned to at least “some depth”. Learning objectives in interprofessional skills, pharmacogenetics, clinical reasoning and information management were retained but refined. Learning outcomes : taking an appropriate genetic history, understanding cultural tenets connected to whakapapa (genealogy), an understanding of DNA samples and genomic data being taonga (sacred), the application of genetic data to Māori and other Indigenous populations and the role of genetics in colonisation and racism and their impact on healthcare.

Conclusions: Learning objectives for contemporary medical genetics curricula should consider including those focusing on Indigenous health. Findings highlight the necessity of timely re-evaluation of medical curricula.


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How to Cite

Kenwright, D., Kuruppu, N., Cornwall, J., Print, C., Lindt, T., Grainger, R., & Thunders, M. (2023). A Delphi consensus exercise to determine a genetics and genomics curriculum for primary medical degree in Aotearoa New Zealand. Focus on Health Professional Education: A Multi-Professional Journal, 24(4), 24–36. https://doi.org/10.11157/fohpe.v24i4.653