Genomics: the clinical encounter and parallels across complementary and personalized medicine
Olson, RE and Cook, PS, Genomics: the clinical encounter and parallels across complementary and personalized medicine, Sociology Compass, 12, (9) Article e12621. ISSN 1751-9020 (2018) [Refereed Article]
Genomics is progressing from "bench to bedside," especially in cancer care. Referred to as precision and personalized medicine, this article casts sociological scholarship on genomic medicine into three interconnected realms: laboratory, family, and clinic. Thought to be solely and objectively discovered in the laboratory, sociological research illustrates the messiness of genetic research. The self in (late) modern times is popularly conceptualized as unique and discrete; precision medicine highlights boundedness and the molecular material shared across families. Within the clinic, sociological research has focused on the geneticization debate over the extent to which genetic ways of understanding disease have subsumed other approaches to conceptualizing and treating illness and the impact of genomics on medicine's dominance. How else is genomic medicine affecting the clinical encounter? We ask if personalized medicine unexpectedly reflects practices found in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), raising questions about what this means for modern medicine and the patient‐consumer.