Background: Knowledge about hereditary colorectal cancer (CRC) can aid cancer screening and prevention in high-risk patients. Genetic testing, once conducted primarily at academic centers, is now routinely performed in a variety of clinics. Nonacademic physicians may not be aware of hereditary CRC standards of care. Methods: From August to November 2012, a survey was administered to predominantly primary care physicians evaluating academic center affiliation, past training in genetics and knowledge regarding hereditary CRC. Results: One hundred forty physicians completed the survey. Knowledge of hereditary CRC was neither associated with academic affiliation nor with training during medical school or residency, but with continuing medical education (CME) training. Those with CME training were more likely to know that screening could be enhanced for patients with a hereditary cancer risk (OR = 4.49, 95% CI = 1.40-14.38) and that an individual with hereditary CRC would have different screening recommendations (OR = 7.49, 95% CI = 1.37-40.81). Residency training and CME training were associated with more frequent hereditary risk assessment. Conclusion: Genetics training may be associated with physicians' knowledge and assessment of hereditary CRC. Training at the CME level in particular may be integral to the delivery of genetic services in clinical practice.

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