La enseñanza de la genética médica y los problemas de la profesión

EDUMECENTRO 2022;14:e2191



La enseñanza de la genética médica y los problemas de la profesión

The teaching of medical genetics and the problems of the profession


Nora María Orive Rodríguez1*
José Ignacio González Reyes2


1 Las Tunas University of Medical Sciences. Las Tunas Provincial Pediatric Hospital. Cuba.
2 Las Tunas University. Doctoral Training Department. Cuba


* Author for correspondence. Email:




The direction of learning in the initial training of the medical professional is oriented towards the assimilation of content, which, integrated through practical activity, manifests itself in the mode of action of a general practitioner. Problem-based training is today an imperative. If you want the future doctor to prepare for the object of his professional activity, it is necessary that throughout the initial training process he solves problems of this nature, which implies that his training must be based on problems, modeled from the macro design curricular and concretized during the execution of the teaching-learning process, so that everything learned can be transferred to new situations. The objective of this article is to argue about the importance of the problems of the profession for the teaching of medical genetics.

MeSH: education, medical, undergraduate; competency-based education; faculty; education, professional; education, medical.


La dirección del aprendizaje en la formación inicial del profesional de la medicina se orienta a la asimilación de contenidos, que integrados a través de la actividad práctica, se manifiestan en el modo de actuación de un médico general. La formación basada en problemas es hoy un imperativo. Si se desea que el futuro médico se prepare para el objeto de su actividad profesional, es necesario que a lo largo del proceso formativo inicial resuelva los problemas de esta naturaleza, lo cual implica que su formación debe estar basada en problemas, modelados desde el macrodiseño curricular y concretado durante la ejecución del proceso enseñanza aprendizaje, de manera que pueda transferir todo lo aprendido a nuevas situaciones. El presente artículo persigue como objetivo: argumentar sobre la importancia de los problemas de la profesión para la enseñanza de la genética médica.

DeSC: educación de pregrado en Medicina; educación basada en competencias; docentes; educación profesional; educación médica.



Submitted: 06/12/2021
Accepted: 20/09/2022



Medical genetics is a basic biomedical science that: "...has the purpose of providing students with general basic knowledge as indispensable tools that allow them to understand the actions related to the diagnosis, prognosis, treatment and prevention of genetic diseases and congenital defects".(1)

In the program of the subject it is meant that it is directed towards the interests of the professional profile of the graduate, and tries to contribute to his scientific conception of the world.(1) In this sense, being located in the fourth semester of the medical training curriculum In general, it facilitates the integration of the basic sciences with the clinical ones, which confirms that the application of its contents is an important way of solving health problems related to the contribution of the genome and/or the environment in the health-disease process, and the development of genetic counseling as a basic skill in primary care, essentially based on a much more complex practice that includes the ability to communicate, educate, psychological support and attend to the moral dilemmas that problems of this nature entail. This makes its contents a complicated task for general practitioners, that´s why it has been warned that it is necessary for the learning process to lead to the development, as a result of the enrichment and updating of these contents, mastery of the methods of science and associated values.(2)

Signifying the importance of mastery of the nature and structure of the content to achieve in students a way of professional performance, implies encouraging them to face the challenges imposed by professional problems related to the diagnosis, prevention and control of diseases based on the principles of Community Genetics. It is necessary to achieve the creative application, the transfer of knowledge and skills to new teaching situations, which will result in learning based on their own new knowledge. Therefore, it is the problems that determine, dialectically, the content as the object of study of an area of knowledge in which the problems are manifested, both as components of the teaching-learning process and specificities, but in a necessary integration.(3)

On the one hand, the professional problem is assumed as: "The set of demands and situations inherent to the object of work that require the action of the professional for its solution",(4) that is, those most common that need to be resolved to satisfy the society's demands; for medicine in particular, everything related to the health-disease process; and on the other hand, the criteria of Álvarez de Zayas(5) in relation to the transcendence of the contents for the solution of professional problems: "... what in the first stage was considered as a principle called work-study, it is now conceptualized as a corollary of the law of curricular design, and that forces its consequent interrelation...".

The foregoing requires considering the emotional dimension of the teaching-learning process of medical genetics, which is based on the professional problems to which this content responds, and derives in the problematization of its teaching as a guarantee of the necessary internalization of what is learned in a university course.

The relevance and necessity of this content in solving the problems of the profession is also conditioned by the context, which implies a problem solving teaching and committed to medical reality. Contextualization has been defined as: "… a logical process of professional development that allows him to place himself in concrete situations of relevance and current relevance in the subject, discipline, in society; and that is used, as a motivational framework and thematic driver for the presentation, development and evaluation of the contents, for learning purposes".(6). It is then necessary to articulate sciences and contexts, and thus correspond to the multicausality and complexity of the problems of the profession.

Training must be based on professional problems from the curricular macro-design to the execution of the teaching-learning process of each of the subjects and disciplines,(7) which favors motivation, the development of thinking skills, content integration and its transfer to other contexts, whether real or simulated, among other advantages.(8)

The teaching of medical genetics is conceived didactically, based on the systemic structuring of the contents, from professional problems and the articulation of the logic of scientific knowledge with the logic of approaching these problems, an issue that reveals the necessary relationship between genetics, as a medical science, and the didactics of genetics, as part of the educational sciences.

This conception is based on the hierarchy of the content of medical genetics, structured from the assumptions that model the nature of a content that requires revealing internal links to achieve its transcendence, in other subjects and in the solution of professional problems.

It is difficult to relate the professional problems expressed in the study plan, with the Medical Genetics subject as a tool for its solution, since limitations are appreciated. The axiological and procedural intentionality that they express is insufficient and lags behind the potentialities of this content to solve problems of the profession.

The determination of professional problems, based on the performance of the doctor and in relation to all the fields of action and functions of the general practitioner, facilitate the identification of the contents of medical genetics involved in the solution of these problems, which will materialize in the approach to health-disease process.

To fulfill the purpose of solving professional problems, it is necessary, in the first place, to identify them in relation to the object of the profession, the community as one of the spheres of action and comprehensive medical care as the field of action of the doctor and that results in the analysis of the health situation, as a concrete expression of the doctor's action, at the community level.

The analysis of the health situation allows the student to know the health status of the population and the possibilities for its improvement, through comprehensive medical care. In this relationship, knowledge is applied that allows identifying the importance of the genome and the influence of environmental factors in its expression as a cause of diseases and as a starting point for prevention. Complementary relationships are established, by guiding the future professional in their performance and the teacher for the sequence of essential contents.

The above considerations allow us to identify the following professional problems, to be considered in the teaching-learning process of medical genetics:

  • The determination of the contribution of the genome and/or the environment in the health-disease process.
  • The prevention of health problems based on a comprehensive approach based on the essential etiopathogenic mechanisms and their genetic nature.
  • Genetic counseling as a tool for disease prevention at the community level.
  • The formation of a scientific, bioethical, humanistic culture, and standards of behavior in correspondence with the current challenges in the field of medical sciences, from medical genetics.
  • The use of scientific-technological advances in favor of the conservation and improvement of the health status of the population.
  • The promotion of actions and research in the field of genetics at the level of primary health care.



1. Cuba. Ministerio de Salud Pública. Comisión Nacional de Carrera de Medicina. Programa de Genética Médica. La Habana: Minsap; 2015.

2. Marcos Mendoza M, Fernández Caballero Z, González Fernández Z. El desarrollo del aprendizaje reflexivo desde la asignatura Genética Médica. RCI [Internet]. 2019 [citado 15/06/2021];7(1):[aprox. 10 p.]. Disponible en:

3. Álvarez de Zayas C. Didáctica. La escuela en la vida. La Habana: Editorial Pueblo y Educación;1999.

4. Horruitiner P. La Universidad cubana: el modelo de formación. La Habana: Editorial Félix Varela; 2006.

5. Álvarez de Zayas C. El diseño curricular. La Habana: Editorial Pueblo y Educación; 2001.

6. Addine F. La didáctica general y su enseñanza en la educación superior pedagógica. Aportes e impactos. La Habana: Editorial Pueblo y Educación; 2013.

7. Torres A. Determinación de los problemas profesionales en las carreras técnicas. ROCA. 2017;13 (2):109-120.

8. Torres A. Zabala P. Metodología para la solución de problemas profesionales desde la didáctica de la formación de profesionales. REFCalE. 2019;7(3):77-90.



Declaration of interests

The authors declare no conflict of interest



Authors contribution

Conceptualization and writing: Nora María Orive Rodríguez and José Ignacio González Reyes

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