Personalized medicine sounds futuristic, but it's really about your relationship with your doctor

By Anne Fabiny, M.D., Editor in Chief

President Barack Obama recently announced the Precision Medicine Initiative, a new program to speed up discoveries based on information and technology stemming from the Human Genome Project. "Precision medicine" and "personalized medicine" are terms that describe health care tailored to an individual patient's genetic makeup, using information about a patient's genome to diagnose illness and design therapies to treat and cure disease. This approach has been described as "the medicine of the future."

However, it may be reassuring to know that although your doctor doesn't have your genome at hand, he or she is likely to be giving you personalized care as we understand it today.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »