It is as if engineering students never learned

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Unformatted text preview: lity of evolutionary biology in medicine, but few physicians and medical researchers have taken a course on evolutionary biology, and no medical school teaches evolutionary biology as a basic science for medicine. It is as if engineering students never learned physics. Filling this gap will require substantial changes in medical education policies and practices. Our suggestions about content, and when and how best to teach it, are only a beginning. National and international organizations such as the AAMC, IOM, HHMI, and the Wellcome Trust have crucial roles to play in deciding what evolution education is needed, how to provide it, and how to implement it. A private foundation could, for a remarkably small investment, have a major positive impact on the future of medicine. Many physicians, researchers, and educators stand ready to help do what needs to be done so that human health gets full bene t from the basic science of evolutionary biology. Nesse et al. 33. Baer CF, Miyamoto MM, Denver DR (2007) Mutation rate variation in multicellular eukaryotes: Causes and consequences. Nat Rev Genet 8:619–631. 34. Muller HJ (1950) Our load of mutations. Am J Hum Genet 2:111–176. 35. Weiss KM (2008) Tilting at quixotic trait loci (QTL): An evolutionary perspective on genetic causation. Genetics 179:1741–1756. 36. Proctor RN (1988) Racial Hygiene: Medicine Under the Nazis (Harvard Univ Press, Cambridge, MA). 37. Zampieri F (2009) Medicine, evolution, and natural selection: An historical overview. Q Rev Biol 84:1–23. 38. Alters B, Nelson C (2002) Perspective: Teaching evolution in higher education. Evolution (Lawrence, Kans) 56:1891–1901. 39. Ewald PW (1994) Evolution of Infectious Disease (Oxford Univ Press, Oxford). 40. Nesse RM, Williams GC (1994) Why We Get Sick: The New Science of Darwinian Medicine (Times Books, New York). 41. Stearns SC, Ebert D (2001) Evolution in health and disease. Q Rev Biol 76:417–432. 42. MacCallum CJ (2007) Does medicine without evolution make sense? PLoS Biol 5:e112. 43. AAMC-HHMI Scienti c Foundation for Future Physicians Committee (2009) Scienti c Foundations for Future Physicians (American Association of Medical Colleges and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Washington, DC). 44. Nesse RM, Schiffman JD (2003) Evolutionary biology in the medical school curriculum. BioScience 53:585587. 45. Downie JR (2004) Evolution in health and disease: The role of evolutionary biology in the medical curriculum. Biosci Ed Elect J 4:1–18. 46. Nesse RM, Williams GC (1997) Evolutionary biology in the medical curriculum: What every physician should know. BioScience 47:664–666. 47. Childs B, Wiener C, Valle D (2005) A science of the individual: Implications for a medical school curriculum. Annu Rev Genomics Hum Genet 6:313–330. Nesse et al. 48. Harris EE, Malyango AA (2005) Evolutionary explanations in medical and health profession courses: Are you answering your students’ “why” questions? BMC Med Educ, 10.1186/1472-6920-5-16. 49. Perlman RL (2005) Why disease persists: An evolutionary nosology. Med Health Care Philos 8:343–350. 50. Nesse RM (2005) Maladaptation and natural selection. Q Rev Biol 80:62–70. 51. Valle D, Eyre-Walker A (2009) •••Proc Natl Acad Sci USA••• . 52. Houle D (2009) Numbering the hairs on our heads: The shared challenge and promise of phenomics. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 107 (Suppl):1793–1799. 53. Williams GC (1996) Adaptation and Natural Selection: A Critique of Some Current Evolutionary Thought (Princeton Univ Press, Princeton). 54. Dawkins R (1989) The Sel sh Gene (Oxford Univ Press, Oxford). 55. Charlton BG (1997) A syllabus for evolutionary medicine. J R Soc Med 90:397–399. 56. Avise JC, Ayala FJ (2009) In the light of evolution III: Two centuries of Darwin. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 106 (Suppl 1):9933–9938. 57. Held LI (2009) Quirks of Human Anatomy: An Evo-Devo Look at the Human Body (Cambridge Univ Press, Cambridge). 58. Pessoa L (2008) On the relationship between emotion and cognition. Nat Rev Neurosci 9:148–158. 59. Mysterud I (1998) The history, status, and teaching of Darwinian medicine in Norway. Norsk Epidemiol 8:101–108. 60. Elton S, O’Higgins P (2008) Is there a place for evolutionary medicine in UK medical education? Medicine and Evolution: Current Applications, Future Prospects, eds Elton S, O’Higgins P (CRC, Boca Raton, FL), Vol 48, pp 257–269. 61. Nesse RM (2007) Evolution and medicine: How new applications advance research and practice. Henry Stewart Talks, ed Nesse RM (Henry Stewart, Inc., London) Available at www.hstalks.com/main/browse_talks.php?father_id=20&c=252. PNAS | January 26, 2010 | vol. 107 | suppl. 1 | 1807...
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