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Personalized genomic medicine (PGM) is a goal that currently unites a wide array of biomedical initiatives, and is promoted as a ‘new paradigm for healthcare’by its champions. Its promissory virtues include individualized diagnosis and risk prediction, more effective prevention and health promotion, and patient empowerment. Beyond overcoming scientific and technological hurdles to realizing PGM, proponents may interpret and rank these promises differently, which carries ethical and social implications for the realization of PGM as an approach to healthcare. We examine competing visions of PGM’s virtues and the directions in which they could take the field, in order to anticipate policy choices that may lie ahead for researchers, healthcare providers and the public.