Personalized medicine uses traditional, as well as emerging concepts of the genetic and environmental basis of disease to individualize prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Personalized genomics plays a vital, but not exclusive role in this evolving model of personalized medicine. The distinctions between genetic and genomic medicine are more quantitative than qualitative. Personalized genomics builds on principles established by the integration of genetics into medical practice. Principles shared by genetic and genomic aspects of medicine, include the use of variants as markers for diagnosis, prognosis, prevention, as well as targets for treatment, the use of clinically validated variants that may not be functionally characterized, the segregation of these variants in non-Mendelian as well as Mendelian patterns, the role of gene–environment interactions, the dependence on evidence for clinical utility, the critical translational role of behavioral science, and common ethical considerations. During the current period of transition from investigation to practice, consumers should be protected from harms of premature translation of research findings, while encouraging the innovative and cost-effective application of those genomic discoveries that improve personalized medical care.