Inherited metabolic diseases are individually rare, but together represent a common class of disorders. They have life-threatening consequences if not diagnosed and treated in a timely manner. Newborn screening is a public health initiative aimed at identifying newborns with inherited metabolic disease early in life; however, symptoms can still present before these results are available. Educating healthcare professionals about metabolic conditions can help prevent sequelae from mismanaged or misdiagnosed events. Medical continuing education can be challenging due to hectic schedules and long hours. Computer and web-based methods are helpful as users can learn in any setting and at any pace. A computer-based tutorial was created for healthcare professionals to learn about the presentation, testing, diagnosis, treatment, and management of individuals with metabolic disease and included 10 case presentations. A pre and post tutorial quiz to assess knowledge was completed by 11 individuals, first and second year genetic counseling students. First year students demonstrated a change from pre to post tutorial scores of 1.7 points. Second year students demonstrated a change of 1.3 points. These differences between pre and post tutorial scores for both classes were statistically significant (p=0.013). The average post score was higher than the pre score for both groups. Additional changes can be made to improve the tutorial including expansion of cases and involving more participants from varied healthcare backgrounds. A computer-based tutorial can increase knowledge of inherited metabolic conditions for healthcare professionals. In the future, this tutorial could be used for continuing education in multiple groups.
The UAB genetic counselling program is designed to lead to professional certification through the American Board of Genetic Counseling, Inc (ABGC). While there is a national certification exam offered by ABGC, board certification does not confer state licensure. Specific licensure requirements vary from state to state. UAB is working to develop an online, publicly-accessible database to assist in providing this state-by-state information. In the meantime, if you are interested in learning about potential professional licensure requirements in your state for a specific degree program, please contact UAB State Authorization at, or call eLearning and Professional Learning S staff at (205) 934-3258.