Up to ten percent of individuals will have a genetic disorder, handicapping condition or genetic predisposition to disease. These individuals will be cared for by the best of family doctors, who strive to consider patient family history in care and treatment decisions.
Over the last decade, the expanding field of genetics has presented several thousand genetic testing and research options which have the potential to significantly impact the care and treatment of many. However, the majority of genetic tests are not indicated for most individuals and there is a great need for caution in the use and interpretation of genetic testing. It is a challenge for physicians to identify those patients who are eligible candidates for genetic testing and to connect their patients with the right genetic testing, in advocating for their healthcare.
The mission of Genetic Counseling Services is to help assess the eligibility of clients and their families for genetic testing, and provide clear explanation as to the benefits and limits of genetic testing. Through Genetic Counseling Services:
- Clients will speak with a genetic counselor. Clients referred by genetic testing laboratories or companies will be provided clear explanation of the results, limits and follow-up testing information -pertaining to the genetic testing performed by the laboratory.
- Clients referred by their physicians for genetic counseling will receive risk assessment and discussion of testing considerations or results --based on a pedigree constructed in having elicited a detailed family medical history
- Physician referred Clients are provided recommendations as to which family medical records may be key to understanding genetic risk. We can provide guidance in helping you to locate records
- Physician referred Clients will receive expert research and comment for their family history concern, depending of information provided
- Physician referred Clients will obtain explanation of testing and recommendations for the best testing strategies, based on their family structure
- Physician referred Clients may request assistance with obtaining medical insurance authorization for testing, dependiing on insurance details
- Physician referred Clients who opt for testing may choose to do so through their physician (which we can coordinate), through genetics professionals elsewhere or with an online testing company
- For Physician referred clients, we will collaborate in providing references for standard-of-care guidelines and recommendations
- Physician referred Clients and their Physicians will receive a written summary of the Genetic Counseling encounter
- We will ensure that issues of personal adjustment to the results of genetic testing will be addressed.
- Please note that genetic testing, surrounding on-going prenatal or pediatric diagnoses, is best handled by Maternal/ Fetal, Obstetric, and Pediatric Genetics Specialists, who can offer clinical/medical services as needed
With full understanding of disease risk and testing information, informed decisions can be made with regards to genetic testing. With the results of genetic testing, physicians and their patients are able to identify the best surveillance and (professional society guided) recommendations for patient care.
With the power of molecular genetic testing, we now have the opportunity to take advantage of significant risk reducing options and provide anticipatory guidance for diseases that have affected previous generations of families. It is the mission of Genetic Counseling Services to help identify and provide guidance to these families.